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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., is ready to vote for a measure that would provide the U.S. military with the resources it needs to keep our nation secure and continue the fight against terrorism, but efforts by Senate Democrats to load up the Department of Defense Appropriations bill with additional domestic spending is delaying passage of the legislation.

The bill, H.R. 3338, would appropriate $317.2 billion for the Department of Defense (DoD) for fiscal 2002, $26.6 billion more than was appropriated last year. But Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, want to add $15 billion in non-defense spending to the total. Byrd's proposal, which he had planned to offer as an amendment to economic stimulus legislation, includes billions for the City of New York, the Postal Service, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice and other agencies.

"Of course, we need to provide funding for homeland defense and disaster recovery. We did that in the emergency bills we passed after Sept. 11. We agreed to provide $40 billion in special funding for homeland defense and as of the end of November, the Administration has only used 16 percent of that money. It already has the funding to handle further needs as they arise," said Enzi. "But this is the defense funding bill. It contains funding for fighter jets, destroyers and needed pay raises for the men and women out there protecting us. The Democrats shouldn't be holding up this bill because they want to take more money from the defense till and spend it on other domestic programs."

President Bush said he would veto the bill if it goes beyond the spending levels for domestic security that he and Congress agreed to earlier. Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge sent a letter to Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., stating that Congress has given the Administration the full funding it needs right now for homeland security.

The Administration is still in the process of evaluating what to do with the money it has already been given, according to a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP).

"The timing, content, and level of any additional resources beyond the $20 billion requested ($20 billion is the first installment of the $40 billion emergency funding total) cannot be ascertained and should not be prejudged until after the Administration has had time to complete this comprehensive analysis of need, and share it with the Congress," the statement said.

"If the Administration's analysis shows more funding is needed, we will work on it then," said Enzi. "Right now, our armed forces need us to pass the DoD appropriations bill and I'm disappointed the majority chose not to bring up this important bill earlier in the appropriations process."

Thursday night Senate Democrats failed twice to clear the way for the addition of their extra domestic spending to the defense bill. Motions to waive budget requirements and spend the additional money failed by votes of 50-48. Senate Democrats tried to waive the budget requirements Friday morning, but again failed. The vote was 50-50. Sixty votes are needed to waive the budget requirements. The votes also signal a Presidential veto would be sustained.

Debate on the Department of Defense bill continued Friday.