"Every day that Congress fails to act on the President's emergency supplemental funding request causes our military hardship and impacts readiness. The Democrats are distorting and hiding behind a CRS memo on the eve of Congress' spring vacation to distract from their failure to send the President a responsible bill he can sign. It's time for the Democrats to send the President a bill that funds the troops without forcing retreat, handcuffing our commanders, or adding billions of dollars in pork spending."
- White House Deputy Press Secretary Dana Perino, 3/30/07
Democrats are using a Congressional Research Service (CRS) memo to attack the President's call for Congress to pass an emergency supplemental funding bill he can sign. (Sen. Harry Reid, "Reid: Non-Partisan Budget Experts Confirm Bush Is Misleading Public On War Funding Needs," Press Release, 3/30/07)
But the CRS memo acknowledges the challenges facing the Army if Democrats do not fund the troops: "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." (Congressional Research Service, Memo To The Senate Budget Committee, 3/28/07)
Democrats' Delay Of Funding Is Already Impacting Troops and Readiness
Yesterday, the Department of Defense notified Congress that in order to meet the force protection needs of the Marine Corps and the Army, it is borrowing funds from other important Marine and Army procurement programs. This borrowing means using funding intended for medium tactical vehicle replacement, Humvees and Humvee equipment, the tactical communications modernization program, and upgrades for other vehicles.
This reprogramming of funds is only necessary because Congress has failed to act in a timely manner on the President's emergency funding request. This underscores the need to get the President a bill he can sign that accomplishes what the troops and military commanders need.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace: After mid-April, "the Army has told us that they will have to begin curtailing some training here at home for Guard, Reserve, and for units, which means that the baseline for those units will be reduced as far as their capability, and when they're called, it will take them longer to be ready and could, over time, delay their availability to go back into combat." (Committee On Appropriations, Defense Subcommittee, U.S. House Of Representatives, Hearing, 3/29/07)
Defense Secretary Robert Gates: "This kind of disruption to key programs will have a genuinely adverse effect on the readiness of the Army and the quality of life for soldiers and their families. I urge the Congress to pass the supplemental as quickly as possible." (Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Press Briefing, Arlington, VA, 3/22/07)