The Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), has been unable to get Senators to eliminate the nearly $15 billion they added to the 2006 emergency supplemental bill to support the war on terror and hurricane recovery. The Congressional newspaper The Hill reports that Frist now is trying to secure enough votes among conservative colleagues to support a Presidential veto. President Bush has said he will veto the measure if it exceeds the Administration request of around $92 billion. (The House version came in slightly less than the request.) In the Senate bill, there are non-defense and non-hurricane add-ons, but there also is money directed to purchase seven additional C-17 airlifters for the Air Force.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.