Magazine article National Defense

Washington Pulse

Magazine article National Defense

Washington Pulse

Article excerpt

Dream Team-The awaited hour may have arrived as the Pentagon finds Capitol Hill allies in the right positions to increase the defense budget. Reps. Tom DeLay (R-TX) and Bob Livingston (R-LA) have established a "good working relationship," but DeLay is viewed as "the man to see on the nitty gritty," according to congressional observers. Both men are expected to keep budget hawks at bay, with Speaker Livingston and his former appropriations committee colleagues Bill Young (R-FL) and Jerry Lewis (RCA) pulling to win over moderate Democrats.

... May I Buy an R?-Pentagon observers expect the Defense Department's Fiscal Year 2000 funding to equal its Fiscal Year 1999 budget, including the almost $9 billion increase that Congress pushed through at the end of last session. However, much of the extra funds will be spent on recruitment, retention, retirement, and readiness initiatives. As a result, the procurement budget may not receive the expected boost to $54 billion.

Purse Strings-Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, is leaving the chair on the defense appropriations subcommittee to Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), according to congressional watchers.

Run the Bases-Operations at all four bases in the Army Test and Evaluation Command (TECOM) are being assessed for possible outsourcing, Maj. Gen. Edward L. Andrews, commander of TECOM told industry executives at the Army Small Business Conference in McLean, Virginia. He said all jobs are on the table, although he joked that his job is safe.

Joint Strike Finances-If the Pentagon can build the joint strike fighter (JSF) for less than $30 million a copy, the plan is to buy these airplanes "like you buy a TV," says the military program manager. "If it's lasted 20 years and is not broken down, you've got your money's worth. Then you throw it away. …

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