Lawmaker: Stop political games with war funds From the Air Force Times: By Rick Maze - Staff writer Posted : Thursday May 22, 2008 11:39:59 EDT A key Republican accused the Democratic-led Congress on Thursday of “dereliction of duty” for allowing the military to reach the brink of a cash-flow crisis over funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, former chairman and now ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, was referring to delays in passing a $108.1 billion Bush administration request for emergency funding for war-related expenses. A supplemental funding bill to provide that money is mired in a complicated election-year process of horse-trading: adding enough nondefense items to secure votes to pass funding for an unpopular war. The result is a cramped package of defense and nondefense issues that White House officials said would be vetoed if Congress passes it. “There is a time and place where domestic funding should be debated and considered on its merits, but that is not in a bill focused on the emergency needs of our troops,” the administration said in a May 15 policy statement on the war-funding bill. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has warned Congress that money in some key accounts, including Army personnel and operations funds, will run out by mid-June. Gates said the Pentagon could move money between accounts in what he called a “shell game” to prevent severe disruption, but only until some time in July. With a weeklong Memorial Day congressional recess due to begin Saturday, congressional leaders have discussed passing a one-month funding bill to avoid serious disruption of defense programs. Cochran, however, said Thursday that a one-month approach “is not really what we need.” The Senate plans a complicated series of votes Thursday in an attempt to pass its version of the bill, with passage far from certain. The House of Representatives failed last week to get enough votes for its own version of the war supplemental, and prospects are dim for quick House passage of the Senate’s proposal. Gates on Tuesday told the Senate Appropriations Committee that the Army’s military personnel account will run dry June 15 and the Army’s operations and maintenance fund will do the same around July 5. The Army’s payroll problems can be solved temporarily by shifting money from the personnel accounts of the Navy and Air Force, but there is no easy resolution because all of the services are short in the same budget account. “This may result in civilian furloughs, limits on training and curbing family support activities,” Gates said. In other words, army can't afford to pay their soldiers after 15 June and with everyone slipping in 2.1 million dollars into the emergency funding bill for the local caprenter ant farm, the WH will veto it. I don't blame the white house either. Congressmen and women slipping $$ into said ant farm is one of the many reasons we are in debt up to our ears. Why can't they look at the bill and say "You know, I don't approve of the war, but I will be damned if I will let our fighting men and women go without pay for even one day." I just want to slap a few of these jokers in the back of the head Jethro Gibbs style!