Friday, 25 December 1987 Washington, DC
YES, VIRGINIA, THERE IS AN FY 88 SANTA CLAUS!
President Reagan signed the budget bills into law, and Congress
went home. It will take weeks to sort through what has happened
and it's not all budget. The spending bill is a favorite vehicle
for amendments that war-weary Congressmen will agree to in the
last desperate hours before adjournment. A random sampling from
the budget legislation:
SDI WAS FUNDED AT $3.9B, which is the level authorized in
November before the budget
summit (WN 20 Nov 87).
Although, as we reported last week, domestic discretionary
research programs such as NSF took a heavy cut as a result
of the negotiations, the President protected SDI.
THE UNIVERSITY RESEARCH INITIATIVE of the DOD will get $81M.
THE NATION'S NUCLEAR WASTE DUMP will be Yucca Mountain, Nev.
AIDS RESEARCH WILL GET $905M, which is two-thirds as much
the entire research budget of NSF.
THE CLASSIFIED INFORMATION NONDISCLOSURE AGREEMENT FORMS
(SF-189), which the administration would like everyone with
security clearance to
sign (WN 21 Aug 87), will not be used
in FY 88. The nondisclosure agreement attempts to cover
"classifiable" as well as classified information. The
Administration plan was already in abeyance awaiting the
decision of a Federal judge on its legality and now
Congress has barred the use of federal funds for that
. THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS INVESTIGATING LIVERMORE
at the request of Rep. George Brown (D-CA). The request followed a
series of articles by Deborah Blum in the Sacramento Bee, in
which the entire issue of Roy Woodruff's dispute with the
laboratory director and the University of California was
explored (WN 23 Oct 87). Woodruff,
the former head of the x-ray laser
program, insisted the Laboratory had a responsibility to correct
falsely optimistic reports on the progress of x-ray laser
weapons. The reports were made to President Reagan and other
high government officials by Lowell Wood and Edward Teller.
According to the Bee, when Woodruff failed to persuade the
laboratory director, Roger Batzel, he attempted to contact the
president of the University of California, which manages the
Livermore facility. In a policy reminiscent of "plausible
deniability" during the Iran/Contra diversion, President Gardner
refused to talk to Woodruff. The University seemed more
concerned with keeping the controversy from becoming public than
with the question of whether President Reagan was being given
misleading information prior to negotiations on arms control.