I have to give it to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, he does know how to grab people's attention. He told Senate appropriators today that if Congress doesn't pass the $33 billion supplemental spending request by July 4 the Pentagon will start doing "stupid things."
Our own Colin Clark covered the hearing and reports on some of the stupid that might result if the Pentagon doesn't get the money it needs:
"Among those “stupid” things: performing “disruptive” planning on how to manage money for operations. What might happen? Gates said the Navy and Marines will begin to run out of money in July; the “Army comes along a little behind that.” Things would start to get serious in early to mid August when money in the base budget would begin to run out and the department would face the dire prospect of first having to furlough civilians and then having to consider the possibility that it could not pay some of those in uniform."What's holding up the supplemental?
"The defense spending bill has gotten tangled in $23 billion for teachers, an issue close to heart of Rep. David Obey, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, who largely controls the progress of all spending bills in the House. And, of course, teachers unions are major supporters of the Democratic Party. That may have something to do with reports that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is supportive of Obey’s move to hold up the war supplemental until the teachers get something."-- Greg Grant