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$626 Billion War Chest For 2010

By aaroncynic in News on Dec 22, 2009 3:20PM

2009_12_22_DOD.jpg The U.S. Senate spent the weekend in session, appropriating $626 billion to the Department of Defense for the remaining 10 months of the 2010 budget. The bill includes $128 billion for “ongoing contingency operations” in both Iraq and Afghanistan. That figure, however, does not factor in the new 30,000 troop surge in Afghanistan, which could potentially be as much as $40 billion.

Illinois will receive a small chunk of the those billions, a little more than $45 million, for various medical and academic research projects funded through the DOD. Among some of the beneficiaries:

  • The Illinois National Guard will receive $6.4 million for virtual training programs used to train troops on the MRAP Vehicle.
  • Rock Island Arsenal will receive $7.6 million for rennovations to lease unused space to commercial firms.
  • Some local colleges including Columbia College, IIT and Northwestern will receive millions to develop various research and training programs.
  • Rush University will receive $4 million to help develop a “disease based biosurveillance system.”

The bill, expected to be stamped by President Obama next week, includes some non-defense related items. The 21% cut in Medicare payments to doctors will be postponed for two months and emergency unemployment and health care benefits will be extended for two months. The DOD budget bill also extends portions of the USA PATRIOT Act, including the wire tap provision and the “library records” provision, which allows the FBI to demand “tangible things” of surveillance targets including “books, records, papers, documents, and other items.”

According to Congressional Research Service, the DOD's fiscal 2010 funding brings total defense spending to over $1 trillion since 9/11/01.