House bill would force allies to pay more costs of U.S. defense

September 13, 1990|By ASSOCIATED

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House is sending a pointe message to U.S. allies slow to provide military and financial help for the Persian Gulf deployment: The United States will no longer foot the entire bill for defending the world.

Angered by Japan's delay in giving $1 billion to a campaign that could cost up to $15 billion in the next year, the House yesterday adopted a measure requiring the Asian nation to pay all the costs of stationing U.S. forces on its soil, or begin losing the troops.

The amendment was one of three burden-sharing proposals added to the $283 billion defense budget for fiscal 1991,

Prompted by the rising cost of Operation Desert Shield and littl in the way of assistance from Japan, West Germany and other U.S. allies, lawmakers vented their frustrations on Tuesday in overwhelming votes on burden-sharing.

By a vote of 370-53, the House adopted the amendment requiring Japan to pay all the costs associated with the 50,000 U.S. troops stationed there. For each year Japan does not cover the costs, 5,000 troops would be taken out of the country.

The United States spends $4.5 billion annually for U.S. forces in Japan; Japan contributes $2.9 billion.

"This is a real wake-up call for the new world order," said Rep. David Bonior, D-Mich., sponsor of the amendment targeting Japan.

The House resumed action on the bill today with the followinissues on the agenda:

*Amendments to increase or decrease the level of spending othe Strategic Defense Initiative in fiscal 1991. President Bush had called for a budget of $4.7 billion for the program commonly known as Star Wars. The Senate trimmed about $1 billion from the 1991 request; the House slashed nearly $2 billion.

*Debate over the B-2 stealth bomber, the costliest weapon ihistory at some $860 million a plane. If approved, the House bill calls for halting production of the plane at the 15 bombers under construction.

*Amendments to assist communities, businesses and workerleft without a job because of cutbacks in defense spending that force the closing or scaling back of military contractors.

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