President Signs Appropriations and Authorization Bills
On September 29, President George W. Bush signed into law the $447.4 billion Defense Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2007, which funds the war on terrorism, supports the armed forces and advances other U.S. interests abroad.
The bill includes $70 billion in emergency supplemental funds. Of that amount, $17.1 billion is slated for the Army to repair or replace battle-worn equipment. In addition, it includes a stopgap budget measure that will temporarily fund programs covered by appropriations bills that were not completed before Congress recessed.
The legislation also includes:
* $3.5 billion for the Future Combat System, an increase of $300 million from fiscal 2006, but approximately $400 million less than the President requested.
* Funding to support an Army National Guard end strength of 350,000 soldiers.
* $1.1 billion for body armor and personal protection equipment.
* $320 million to replace 20 Black Hawk helicopters; $512 million to replace 17 Chinook helicopters; and $621 million to replace 18 Apache aircraft.
Before signing the bill into law, the President said, "I applaud Congress for passing legislation that will provide our men and women in uniform with the necessary resources to protect our country and win the war on terrorism. As our troops risk their lives to fight terrorism, this bill will ensure they are prepared to defeat today's enemies and address tomorrow's threats."
On September 30 the U.S. Senate passed the $532.8 billion authorization bill by unanimous consent. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill by a 398 to 23 vote the day before. …