Já aqui tinha sido dito algo acerca do "softpower" de Obama. A proposta inicial era esmagadora. Sabemos agora que a despesa do Pentágono será superior ao que foi inicialmente proposto. O novo total (às claras) atinge agora os 601.4 biliões de dólares. Estamos perante um orçamento de guerra global!
Eis a notícia:
The U.S. House of Representatives late on May 22 overwhelmingly approved a measure that would clear the Pentagon to spend $601.4 billion on weapon programs, personnel, construction projects, research efforts and other initiatives.
THE BILL WILL allow the U.S. Air Force to purchase 20 new F-22A fighters.
The massive authorization measure, passed 384 to 23, includes $3 billion in research and development funds for the Army's Future Combat Systems program, a $200 million cut to the president's request. The chamber did, however, fully fund the president's $331 million request for 2009 FCS procurement.
During floor debate on the measure, the House soundly axed an amendment offered by Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., that sought to revive $193 million of the FCS research funding reduction. Akin proposed freeing up those dollars by cutting military health care and other personnel accounts.
Opponents of the amendment, including Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, argued the reduction would not affect any FCS components slated to be fielded until 2015.
The House bill also would authorize spending $2.2 billion for Abrams tank, Bradley fighting vehicle and Stryker vehicle upgrades, $3.4 billion for armored Humvees and $3.1 billion for helicopter programs.
The bill, crafted by Skelton's panel, includes a green light to spend $400 million not requested by the White House to purchase two DDG-51 Arleigh Burke destroyers, a move made possible by pushing back delivery of a third DDG 1000-class destroyer.
The House measure authorizes $2.5 billion in procurement and research funding for Navy F/A-18E/F and EA-18G fighters, and adds $262.5 million for Joint Strike Fighter R&D, moves aimed at helping the sea service address its so-called "fighter gap."
It also reduces the amount the Marine Corps can spend in fiscal 2009 on its troubled Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle program to $275.8 million, a $40.2 million cut in R&D dollars.
For ships, the bill clears the Navy to buy an additional LPD-17 amphibious and two new T-AKE transporters.
The biggest move the measure would usher in for Air Force programs was an authorization to purchase 15 new Boeing-made C-17s, a legislative move needed to help keep the Long Beach, Calif.-based Globemaster production line humming. The Senate's version of the second 2008 war supplemental, approved by that chamber May 22, includes funding for those new military cargo planes.
The measure also reduces the amount the Air Force requested for its controversial C-5 airlifter modernization program by $60 million, to $425.5 million for 2009. It also clears the service to purchase 20 new F-22A fighters next fiscal year. The chamber also authorized the Air Force to spend $1.3 billion to purchase 52 Predator, Reaper and Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles.
For space, the measure fully funds the Air Force's spending plans for the Transformation Satellite (TSAT), Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) and Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) programs, a total of $4.2 billion in research and procurement monies.
The bill also trims $700 million from the administration's $9.3 billion request for Missile Defense Agency (MDA) spending in 2009, including a $232 million cut from the White House's plan for a European missile shield. That reduction would leave MDA with $8.6 billion, which is still $213 million more than the agency received this fiscal year.
That missile defense cut reflects panel members' belief the agency should focus on weapons that will be fielded sooner rather than later, a continued skepticism about the administration's plans to field a missile shield in Europe and program-specific worries, according to Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif., chairwoman of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee.
The Senate Armed Services Committee has approved its own $612.5 billion version of the measure. With Congress leaving May 23 for its annual weeklong Memorial Day recess, the full Senate is not expected to take up its version of the Pentagon authorization bill until next month. A House-Senate conference committee will iron out any differences between the two bills after the full Senate has approved its bill.
The White House, in a May 22 statement of administration policy, indicated the president would veto any defense authorization bill that includes several provisions in the House bill, including: the missile defense reduction, one that would prohibit competitions between private companies and government entities, require all interrogations be videotaped, as well as ones that would set Iraq withdrawal dates and alter the executive branch's ability to enter into certain pacts with the Iraqi government.
Sending a message to the president, the House ignored the veto threat and included each one, among others included in the veto threat section of that policy statement.
The White House also raised concerns about other portions of the House bill but did not threaten to reject the measure if they were included, including: raising funding levels to purchase more C-17s, F-22As, an LPD-17 ship and a Virginia-class submarine. The administration also expressed worries about the House's decision to inflate the amount the Pentagon can spend on advanced research efforts for the F-35 fighter and its move to delay the third DDG-100 destroyer.
fonte: Defense News