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Democrats again "supporting the troops" by not supporting them
Posted by: McQ on Sunday, April 01, 2007

Democrats and various leftosphere blogs are claiming that Bush has lied about April 15th being a date in which funds for our troops in the field will begin to run out. They claim a Congressional Research Service memo shows Bush’s claim to be a false statement.

Says Harry Reid citing the memo :
“This study confirms that the President is once again attempting to mislead the public and create an artificial atmosphere of anxiety. He is using scare tactics to defeat bipartisan legislation that would change course in Iraq.”
What they've latched onto is a statement in the memo which says:
Based on Army data and estimates, the Army could finance it's O&M expenses through the end of May by tapping the $52.6 billion in O&M funding already provided by Congress in the FY2007 DoD Appropriations Act (P.L. 109-209) and the Continuing Resolution (P.L. 110-5/H.J. Res. 20).

[...]

If the Army temporarily tapped all this transfer authority, it could have a total of 60.1 billion available rather than 52.6 billion. Based on projections of basic obligation rates, the Army could finance the O&M costs of both its baseline and war program for almost additional two months, or through most of July 2007, if it tapped into all of its transfer authority.
Says Think Progress:
Now we know who’s right. A new report from the Congressional Research Service makes clear that Bush’s deadline is completely fabricated.
Well no, it's not. It's not fabricated in the least. As acknowledged by the CRS report, money for the Army begins to run out exactly on the date noted. The report acknowledges that fact by pointing out that the only way the Army can continue to fight the war is to take money already obligated to other areas of Army operations, defund them and shift that money to the Operations & Maintenance area instead.

Where I come from, that means that money is running out.

Any guess where the funds necessary to continue the prosecution of the war will come from? Ah, yes, let's again dip into the CRS memo ... the parts Think Progress isn't quoting or touting:
“To use this transfer authority, DOD would have to submit a reprogramming request that could temporarily move for example, procurement funds into Army O&M as long as the four defense committees approved.”

[...]

“The Army has suggested that these actions would disrupt its programs including facilities repair, depot maintenance, and training. In order to ensure that funding is available for the later months of the year, the Army may very well decide that it must slow down its non-war-related operations before money would run out by, for example, limiting facility maintenance and repairs, delaying equipment overhauls, restricting travel and meetings, and, perhaps slowing down training. Although it is true that a delay in passage of the FY2007 supplemental could require additional management actions, Congress has given DOD flexibility by providing transfer authority so that funds can be moved to meet more urgent requirements. In this case, because the transfers would presumably be temporary, the disruptions might also be less onerous.

“In addition, funding for operation and maintenance finances a wide variety of activities ranging from day-to-day maintenance of military facilities to pre-deployment training of troops. The Army could take some actions that might be less efficient but would not necessarily harm readiness by for example, delaying facilities repairs until later in the year or splitting support contracts into smaller increments so that obligations would be smaller initially and larger later in the year.”
First sentence. Note the qualifier. No money transfers until approved by Congress. And where will Congress be on April 15th as it pertains to this subject?

Next paragraph. "Limiting facilities maintenance and repairs". Facilities? Yeah, you know, like Walter Reed or any or all of the Army's medical facilities. Or dependent housing. Dependent schools. Dependent health care. And they'd also include quality of life improvements for troops and dependents at Army bases around the world as well as upgrading or improving training sites and facilities at those posts (you know, the sites used in pre-deployment training?).

IOW, what the Democrats are saying is let the wounded and military dependents suffer the consequences of the monetary shortage. Let problems like Walter Reed fester because, you see, the Army can transfer money from the repair and maintenance of such facilities to their O&M budget until Democrats get off their dead asses and take this seriously.

Yes, instead of slow-bleeding the troops in harm's way, Democrats have chosen to slow bleed their families and the wounded comrades of the troops.

Oh, and all that blather about making sure units are fully mission capable before deploying? Well, unfortunately, to fund the war, we'll have to cut depot level maintenance on equipment necessary for the effort and that equipment won't be available to those deploying units. They certainly won't be able to "overhaul" equipment, increasing both their reliability and servicability. And putting the latest upgrades on the equipment, such as, perhaps, additional armor for troop protection, or the latest technological gadget which might help them locate and defeat IEDs? No go. Additionally, such transfers of money might, as the memo states, "slow down training".

So, yeah, no hurry on putting the final bill together. Go on recess before the bill even goes to committee for markup. Wait until the middle of April to begin that process ... a process which could push the final bill into May before it is ready to go. No sweat, the wounded troops and their dependents won't mind.

This is disgraceful but seemingly typical of the Democrats in Congress. They'll mouth the platitudes about 'supporting the troops' and then deliberately do things like this. A pox on their leadership and all who support this disgusting strategy.

And yes ... I'm pissed.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
McQ,

I generally enjoy your blogging—which is why I continue to read it—but when it comes to this particular topic, you never make any sense. You do realize that the spending bills passed by both the House and the Senate contain all the funding the president requested, right? So what sense does it make to say that Congress is not funding the troops? All the president has to do is sign the bill. It’s fine to defend his use of the veto here, if that’s what you think is right, but if that happens, the president will be just as much to blame for any lack of funding as Congress is. Your position seems to be that unless Congress submits a bill to the president that contains all the money he wants AND none of the language he objects to, they are not supporting the troops. And that, my friend, makes no sense.
 
Written By: Anonymous Liberal
URL: http://www.anonymousliberal.com
You do realize that the spending bills passed by both the House and the Senate contain all the funding the president requested, right?
Did you really mean "all the funding the president requested for a subset of the time in which he asked to spend them"?

 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
You do realize that the spending bills passed by both the House and the Senate contain all the funding the president requested, right?
And where is that bill, AL? Certainly not in front of the president. In fact, it hasn’t even gone to committee for markup. It won’t until after the April 15th deadline.

Democrats have simply decided that it isn’t important enough to bother their scheduled recess over ("we’re going to work 5 days a week ...") and so are gone fishing. When and if the bill is finally ready to go to the president it will most likely be late April or early May. The obvious hope is that the president will be desparate enough to sign it instead of veto it (as he should).

And during that time fun and politics, guess who’s suffering the Democrats absolute indifference to their plight?

That’s "support"?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
"...the president will be just as much to blame for any lack of funding as Congress is.
10,000 screaming liberal *ssh*l*s cannot make this true. If I asked you to do something quite reasonable and threatened to cut off your private parts if you did it and you refused, would I be justified in stating that you refused a perfectly reasonable request? That is the canard you are selling. No sale.
 
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
I’d say congress would be more to blame. They are playing politics with the war supplemental bill. With billions of dollars in unrequested pork and unconstitutional grabs on military power added on to the bill. If they want to defund the war, then so be it, but this playing political games with troop funding, it’s frankly unpatriotic and inhumane.
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
Democrats have simply decided that it isn’t important enough to bother their scheduled recess over ("we’re going to work 5 days a week ...") and so are gone fishing.
It seems the Nation is better off with the Democrats fishing (Stay away from my home) than legislating.

Of course those getting the short, barbed, end of the stick are our men in uniform. Democrats don’t care. The party’s position on the military is the fewer the better. If we loose a war, that’s ok, as long as it can be blamed on the Republicans.
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://faroutfishfiles.blogspot.com/
They are simply putting a gun to the President’s head. Defund in the future by signing this bill or Defund now by not.

On top of that, let’s not even give the President enough time to veto it and send it back.

The kicker will be the spin the media will put on it after the veto. They will actually make it look like it is Bush who is defunding the military.

If the President ever needed to grow a pair [of vocal cords] now is the time. He will have to counter media spin or they will be successful.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
The House won’t be back until after the deadline and still the conference committee must meet and reconcile the different bills. So, the congressional spring break is more important than our military fighting for the safety of all of us. No sacrifice here, move along. Are the conference members even picked? As was written, “Yes, instead of slow-bleeding the troops in harm’s way, Democrats have chosen to slow bleed their families and the wounded comrades of the troops.” That is worse than bad. There are other unintended consequences that may impact congress more directly; civil service workers could be laid off with their salaries diverted to Iraq. And the military no longer has the military infrastructure to compensate for the loss of that civilian support. So look for places such as Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland to close. It has more than 7,500 civilian workers and more than 5,000 military personnel are assigned there. In addition, there are nearly 3,000 contractors and private business employees working on the proving ground according to its web site. While some test firing of weapons is performed there, most of what is being done could be delayed/shutdown. I wonder how Maryland’s two Democratic Senators and its normally moderate Democratic Representative Dutch Ruppersberger, who voted yes on the supplemental appropriations bill, would like that trade off.
 
Written By: AMR
URL: http://
Let’s see...the Dems pull a number on funding the troops. They refuse to make the recent tax cuts permanent. They went on vacation without even taking a vote on whether to condemn Iran.

But these Dems are better than the Republicans they replaced, right?
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
I’ll preface by saying I haven’t finished the article or read a post yet... but when I read this -

The report acknowledges that fact by pointing out that the only way the Army can continue to fight the war is to take money already obligated to other areas of Army operations, defund them and shift that money to the Operations & Maintenance area instead.
I was struck with the thought... this is what we were arguing with laura the other day and numerous others on numerous other days - sure we can pay for one thing... just tell me which of the other things you are willing to stop paying for. Heads pop and eyes roll when we talk about taking funds from ’the children’ or ’the elderly’ or ’the needy’ to fund something. This is much the same to me.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Ah, yes. The same rationale that is used to "prove" that social security is in fine shape.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
And during that time fun and politics, guess who’s suffering the Democrats absolute indifference to their plight?

McQ, this is propogandist nonsense and you know it. The troops will be "suffering"? Please. No one is going to notice any difference.

The president should just sign the bill when it comes to him and use the time thereafter to try to improve the situation in Iraq and make his case to the American people. If he makes progress, Congress can always remove the language about withdrawal from future supplementals. And if Bush decides to veto, he’s at least equally to blame for the lack of funding. The president has no right to simply demand the legislation he wants. He has to work with Congress.
 
Written By: Anonymous Liberal
URL: http://www.anonymousliberal.com
The president should just sign the bill when it comes to him
and then simply ignore the deadline imposed as unconstitutional. Forcing the Left to:
1) Sue in court and lose
2) Impeach and lose.

There that’s closer to the truth.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
McQ, this is propogandist nonsense and you know it. The troops will be "suffering"? Please. No one is going to notice any difference.
Ah, the new liberal line emerges. Pulling money from facilities repair and support really doesn’t have an effect and those facilities which lose money in order to fund the war, such as Walter Reed and other Army medical facilities, really don’t need the money to keep functioning.

Is that your argument now?

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Is that your argument now?
No the argument is that the troops in Iraq will have the money, but then WRAMC will have NO money and they will complain about THAT!
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
What they want is to force the admin to make the decisions about what gets shorted (if their plan works) and then knock them about when continued combat readiness is the choice over the non-combat aspects of military funding.

Guns and ammo, or military housing and medical coverage - that evil Bush and his flunkies, we know what he’ll choose (hooray, we win!).
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
The president has no right to simply demand the legislation he wants. He has to work with Congress.
Then why does he have veto power?
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Then why does he have veto power?
So the Congress also has to work with him. This Congress went home to play.

Bully pulpit time. I don’t understand why he doesn’t/won’t/can’t do more of it.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://

 
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