The last step for any of the appropriation bills passed by Congress is the approval of the President. This year after going through the House and Senate, and then Conference; before finally being rolled into a large omnibus spending bill the defense bill was signed by President Bush in early October. Last week he signed the companion Authorization Bill. The Authorization Bill comes out of the House and Senate Armed Services committees and specifies what the money given in the Appropriation Bill can buy. This is the largest Defense budget in US history, and based on comments by Congressional Democrats looking forward to a Democratic President may be the peak. Representative Franks (D-MA) displays how little he knows about the budget overall with his idea of cutting 25 percent of the budget by forcing the Pentagon "to start choosing from its many weapons programs"; as the majority of the budget is not made up of investment accounts. Personnel and operations and maintenance are the majority of the budget. Eliminating a large number of the Services acquisition programs may save 25 percent but then they wouldn't be buying much.