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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 4, 1998
                  PRESIDENT SEEKS $2.5 BILLION FOR 1998 

President Clinton asked Congress today to provide $2.5 billion in emergency 1998 funding to support military operations in Bosnia and Southwest Asia and meet urgent needs created by recent natural disasters in California, Florida, New England, Guam, and other locations. In addition, the President requested $1.86 billion in emergency 1999 funding to support operations in Bosnia during that year.

For 1998, the request includes $1.85 billion in supplemental funds for Bosnia and Southwest Asia, to fund the extension of the U.S. mission in Bosnia beyond June 30 and the build-up of U.S. forces in Southwest Asia pursuant to Iraqi intransigence with regard to United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) inspections; and $642 million in supplemental funds, which includes $255 million in contingent funding, for unanticipated emergencies resulting from recent flooding, ice storms, El Nino, and other natural disasters.

For 1999, the President's budget contains an allowance for emergencies and natural disasters. The President is submitting an amendment to his 1999 budget request to use $1.86 billion of those funds to pay for the full cost of Bosnia operations for that fiscal year.

Along with the supplemental package, the President transmitted to Congress a statement, required by both the fiscal 1998 Department of Defense Appropriations and Authorization Acts, to certify that the continued presence of U.S. forces in Bosnia beyond June 30 is required to meet the security interests of the United States.


America has major national interests in peace in Bosnia. We have learned from hard experience in the twentieth century that America's security and Europe's stability are intimately linked. The United States and its allies have made much progress in forging a lasting peace, but much more work remains to be done. Continued American leadership is required to sustain this peace and support the NATO-led Stabilization Force (SFOR) mission. A U.S. military presence in Bosnia will enable the people of that country to lay a firm foundation of peace and cooperation for the future. Funds totaling $487 million in 1998 and $1.86 billion in 1999 will sustain this effort.

Southwest Asia

Seven years after agreeing to submit to United Nations-sponsored inspections of sites suspected of harboring weapons of mass destruction, Iraq has flaunted the will of the international community by turning away repeatedly the U.N. inspectors. This deliberate intransigence threatens the surrounding region and the entire world, and cannot go unanswered. The deployment of U.S. forces to Southwest Asia will ensure the protection of our interests, and will remind Iraq of the severe penalties of non-compliance. U.S. military action still may be required; accordingly, our additional forces will remain in Southwest Asia for the foreseeable future. For purposes of the 1998 supplemental, the President's $1.36 billion request will cover the costs that would be associated with sustaining the current force levels and operations in the region for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Disaster Relief

In addition to the Defense Department emergency funds requested for Bosnia and Southwest Asia, the President is requesting $642 million for 1998 emergency requirements resulting from recent flooding, ice storms, El Nino, and other natural disasters. This includes $255 million in contingent funding for anticipated needs arising from these disasters that have not yet been documented.

"The funds I am requesting today will help to bolster our efforts to reduce the suffering of the countless Americans who have been hardest hit by disasters in recent months," said the President. "We are committed to helping them and their families as they work to put their lives back together."

The funds include:

       $224 million for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) 
       to repair highway damage resulting from the floods in 
       California and the Northeastern United States and other 
       disasters Nation-wide.

       The President is also requesting $35 million in contingent
       funding for FHWA, to be made available upon his submission 
       of a later budget request to Congress designating the entire 
       amount requested as an emergency requirement.

       $122.8 million for the Defense Department.  The request 
       includes $120.7 million for damage in Guam resulting from 
       Typhoon Paka and $2 million for damage in the United States 
       resulting from ice storms.

       In addition, the President is requesting $50 million in
       contingent funding for damage to military facilities caused 
       by recent natural disasters.

       $143 million, including $103 million in contingent funding, 
       for the Agriculture Department.  The requested funds include:  
       $10 million for the Farm Service Agency, of which $6 million 
       in subsidy budget authority would support $25 million in 
       emergency loans to assist family farmers; $5 million for 
       watershed and flood prevention operations such as opening 
       dangerously restricted channels and waterways; $10 million 
       for the Forest Service to repair damage caused by recent ice 
       storms; $48 million for State and private forestry; $40 million 
       for watershed and flood prevention operations; and $4 million 
       for dairy and livestock assistance.

       $36.8 million in contingent funding for the Interior Department.
       These funds include:  $25 million for the Fish and Wildlife
       Service to repair damage to national wildlife refuge property 
       and structures; $8.5 million for the National Park Service to 
       repair and replace facilities; $2.3 million for the Bureau of
       Reclamation to repair flood control levees and dikes; and, $1
       million for the U.S. Geological Service to repair damage to its
       facilities and monitoring equipment.

       $30 million in contingent funding for the U.S. Army Corps of
       Engineers.  These funds would be used to complete repairs of
       damage to navigation channels and harbors, flood control
       channels, and reservoir facilities due to El Nino in California,
       the Pacific Northwest, and Florida.