OMB official: Senate set to grab Y2K money : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

April 14, 1999


OMB official: Senate setto grab Y2K money

By Rebecca S. Weiner, National Journal's

Technology Daily

The Senate is making a grab for $973 million in emergency Y2K funding that Congress appropriated last year, an Office of Management and Budget official told House lawmakers Tuesday.

OMB Acting Deputy Director for Management Deidre Lee urged House lawmakers to block the Senate move in conference negotiations over the fiscal 1999 emergency supplemental appropriations bill, S. 544.

"Not only would it eliminate the remaining balance in the emergency fund, but it would also force agencies to stop planned and ongoing procurements for Y2K-related activities," she said at a joint hearing held by the House Government Reform and Science committees on federal Y2K readiness.

Rep. Stephen Horn, R-Calif., chairman of the House Government, Management, Information and Technology Subcommittee, told National Journal's Technology Daily that Lee's claims are "demagoguery" by the Clinton administration, and declined further comment.

Rep. Connie Morella, R-Md., who heads the House Science Committee's technology subcommittee, said this was the first she had heard of Y2K funding being eliminated through the emergency appropriations bill.

"I think we need to contact [Sen.] Bob Bennett and find out what's happening over there," she told National Journal's Technology Daily, referring to the head of the Senate special Y2K committee.

"Everything is on the table," said Don Meyer, spokesman for the Senate Y2K committee. "There's only about $500 million left, and we'd like to see that preserved."

S. 544 would appropriate $2.4 billion to provide, in part, disaster assistance to hurricane victims in Central America. The House version, H.R. 1141, would provide $1.3 billion in emergency funding.

Congress last year approved a total of $3.25 billion for federal Y2K repair efforts, with $1.1 billion dedicated to Defense Department Y2K fixes.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, has said he's willing to forward funding to help federal Y2K efforts, although his panel voted to take back what's left of last year's emergency funding. Calls to the Appropriations Committee were not returned.

OMB had not distributed all of the funds, and White House Y2K czar has repeatedly said that no further federal funding would be needed beyond the 1998 emergency funds.


-- Gayla Dunbar (, April 14, 1999


Boy they better hurry. There's not much time left to form new committees.

-- a (a@a.a), April 14, 1999.

Even an optimist would have to see massive supply line and foreign trade issues coming, and food's the #1 priority next to water. Currently it is rotting in fields, being shipped to other countries, and farmers are going out of business at the rate of 500 per day according to a TV commercial I recently saw.

And it's been repeatedly said that the first problem with Y2K remediation is time, and the second is money. But we want to take 'emergency funds' earmarked for Y2K or related work in the USA and send them to another country?

If this government was a friend, I would suspect it was an enemy.

PJ in TX

-- PJ Gaenir (, April 14, 1999.

Gayla: Thanks for the post. Looks like another example of our tax dollars working hardly. The part about no additional funds being needed past the allocated 1998 emergency funds does not compute. Did I mis-interpret this? I must be over-tired. Sombody wake me up. They do not even know what each other are doing!

a: LOL.

-- Rob Michaels (, April 14, 1999.

Somehow, they always seem to locate more "mission-critical" money, when needed.

Now, to define "mission-critical," in terms of the total Y2K potential spectrum of "events," is the challenge.


-- Diane J. Squire (, April 15, 1999.

The Clinton Administration, mostly through John Koskinen, has been lying about the severity of Y2K so long that they have convinced Congress and many others that it will be a non-event. Now their lies are coming back to bite them and the rest of us.

-- Incredulous (, April 15, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ