Stevens: Will find money for Fort Greely

Posted: Monday, July 30, 2001

FAIRBANKS - Sen. Ted Stevens says he won't fight Democratic attempts to stop military construction money from being spent on missile defense work at Fort Greely this summer.

He'll just try to get the money from a different pot, he said.

Stevens said late last week he isn't concerned so far about a letter from Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and several Democrats from the House. The letter questioned whether the Defense Department could spend $9 million on land clearing, road building and well drilling at Fort Greely.

Feinstein is chairwoman of the Military Construction Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The money, Stevens said, was originally provided in last year's military construction spending bill. But the expenditure was always contingent upon a presidential decision to proceed with actual deployment of a national missile defense system, he said.

President Clinton decided Sept. 1 not to deploy the system, and President Bush has not yet decided.

Stevens said he thinks the clearing and other work can instead be funded using the research money Congress approved for the current fiscal year. He said he thinks there is enough money left to do so.

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