IT, security funding advances in DOD bill
- By George I. Seffers
- Jul 21, 2000
The House overwhelmingly approved a $289 billion defense appropriations
bill for 2001 that includes more than $250 million for information technology
The House voted 367 to 58 on Wednesday for passage of the bill, which provides
a $150 million increase for information assurance and computer network security
programs, including $36 million for hardware and software designed to monitor
the military's global networks for security breaches.
House and Senate conferees also added $3.5 billion for research and development.
Major efforts are under way within all the military services to restructure
and reorganize based on their ability to gather and disseminate information
faster than potential adversaries. That would allow U.S. forces to better
understand the battlefield situation and to make decisions more quickly.
Military officials and other experts and proponents have pushed steadily
for an increase in defense spending, citing increased deployments, funding
shortfalls and decreasing readiness. And at least one lawmaker has suggested
that the Pentagon may require even more funding in the future.
"[The defense appropriations bill] is a good start toward ensuring that
America's military can meet the challenges that lie ahead and ensure the
safety and security of all Americans well into the 21st Century," said Floyd
Spence, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. "While this bill
makes a significant contribution to reversing a decade of defense cuts,
revitalizing our military forces will take an even more aggressive and sustained
effort in the years ahead."
The Senate is expected to quickly approve the appropriations bill, and the
president has indicated he will sign it.