blueollie

Inhofe: the Dumbest Member of the US Senate

Listen to Senator Inhofe: (R-Oklahoma)

Inhofe bellows on about the cut in defense spending. There are a couple of problems:

1. It isn’t true.

The big news from yesterday (still settling in across Washington) is that President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates teamed up to propose a sweeping overhaul of the defense budget–calling for the elimination of unnecessary systems and spending the savings on special forces, intelligence equipment, and other tools of counterinsurgent warfare.

In other words, by retooling the Pentagon, Obama and Gates plan to move a lot of money around, but they also plan to increase the overall defense budget. In the final year of the Bush administration (and excluding the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) the defense budget was $513 billion. In FY 2010, if Gates and Obama get their way, it will be $534 billion–$534 billion that will be spent much differently than last year’s outlays were.

2. The wars themselves are budgeted differently

On September 12, the Senate Appropriations Committee will consider the fiscal year (FY) 2008 Defense Appropriations bill, which funds the Pentagon’s annual basic operations. The House has already passed its version of this legislation (H.R. 3222), which includes $460 billion for the Department of Defense, $3.5 billion below the Bush Administration’s request and nearly $40 billion above current levels. Like the House, the Senate is NOT planning to include any additional funding to support combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in this legislation.

Traditionally, wars are funded outside the normal annual appropriations process. This is because the federal budget process, which can take well over two years to enact funding for a single year, is simply too cumbersome to respond to unanticipated emergency spending needs, such as disaster assistance and wars. But last year, Congress required the Administration to include the costs of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of their annual budget request, arguing that after five years in Afghanistan and three years in Iraq the Pentagon should have at least some idea of the costs of these operations. The request for war-related costs for FY 2008, which begins on October 1, was estimated by the White House back in February at roughly $142 billion.

The decision by Senate Defense Appropriations subcommittee chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI) to follow the example set by his House counterpart Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and separate out Iraq funding from the DoD base budget spending bill means the appropriations bill should be able to move smoothly through Congress, possibly before the end of the fiscal year on September 30. Meanwhile, the Iraq debate will be focused on the additional supplemental funding bill, which Sen. Inouye and Rep. Murtha believe will begin moving in mid-October after current funding legislation expires.

Note: the article that I am quoting for is critical of Democrats in Congress. But the point was to show that the defense bill that Senator Inhofe was complaining about isn’t the bill that funds military operations in war.

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April 9, 2009 - Posted by | Barack Obama, morons, politics, politics/social, republicans

1 Comment »

  1. Priority Challenged Inhofe is way too obtuse to recognize that just the first four wasted years in Iraq, at a cost of some $600 billion dollars, would pay the annual cost of universal health care for the entire population.

    Comment by Jane Reaction | February 22, 2010 | Reply


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