Rep. Les Aspin (D) of Wisconsin, a perennial critic of the military, wants conservatives and liberals of join in trimming what he calls "a mountain of wasteful programs" from the new military budget.
Representative Aspin lists 10 items, from "subsidized inefficiency" in military exchange stores to subsidized pet care and Pentagon lunchrooms, which he says together waste $2 billion a year.
In a statement issued May 6, Mr. Aspin urged that to meet urgent military pay requirements, "we would be better off if we first earmarked wasteful items in the military budget and then transferred funds from waste to pay." Two-thirds of the Pentagon budget "has nothing to do with weapons," he said.
Last week, the House Armed Services Committee sent to the House floor a $53.1 billion weapons procurement bill, $6.2 billion more than President Carter originally asked for. It almost doubles the operations and maintenance part of the budget, from which day-to-day services like those criticized by Mr. Aspin are drawn.