Senate Appropriations Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, proposed Thursday reinstating the $2.1 million slated for a training facility at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Base and $285 million for 37 other defense projects subjected to a line-item veto by President Clinton.
Stevens said Defense Department officials told the Appropriations Committee that the White House did not consult with them before issuing the vetoes.
The Defense Department witnesses, Stevens said, indicated that the Falls training facility and 32 of the 38 projects that Clinton vetoed Monday were part of the department's five-year plan.
Stevens said that, contrary to the president's veto message, the Falls facility and many other projects were so advanced in planning that construction could have been started in the coming year. He added that the president already had approved these 33 projects, including the Falls base.
Clinton cited lack of planning as a reason for the vetoes.
"We'll be successful in overturning these vetoes," Stevens said, "because the projects that the president has attempted to eliminate are meritorious, are sought by the department, are within the budget agreement and are not wasteful or excessive spending."