Clinton Signs $264 Billion Defense Spending Bill
WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Clinton signed a $263.8 billion defense spending bill Wednesday while making clear he does not believe its terms limit his flexibility to deal with events in Bosnia.
The authorization measure, which Clinton said will provide for a strong national defense, represents a $2.8 billion increase over the 1994 fiscal year which ended Sept. 30.
Adjusted for inflation, however, that translates into a defense spending cut of just under 1 percent, the 10th consecutive real decline in the defense budget. In all, 18 percent of the total federal budget would go for defense under the new law.
Included in the defense bill for fiscal 1995 is authorization for another aircraft carrier, three guided-missile destroyers and six C-17 airlifters. It authorizes development funds for a new attack submarine, the F-22 fighter, a Marine Corps V-22 tilt-rotor troop carrier and a new reconnaissance helicopter for the Army.
The bill Clinton signed encourages but does not order him to lift the international arms embargo over Bosnia.
In a statement issued after the signing, Clinton said he interprets the legislation as leaving ″flexibility to calibrate our actions as events develop.″
He said he believes he also has additional flexibility to determine how proposals relating to the arms embargo should be implemented.
″This flexibility is critical for ensuring that the United States remains in a position to react to developments in the manner that best serves our nation’s interests,″ Clinton’s statement said.