March 29th, 2012
03:38 PM ET

Key congressman questions generals' testimony

By Larry Shaughnessy

The Republican congressman who chairs the House Budget Committee questioned Thursday whether top military officers truly support the Pentagon budget, which includes significant cuts to some programs.

The officers were testifying about the budget on Capitol Hill.

"We don't think the generals are giving us their true advice. We don't think the generals believe that their budget is really the right budget," said Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin. "What we get from the Pentagon is a budget-driven strategy not a strategy-driven budget."

It is a violation of military regulations to lie to Congress. But Ryan said that generals, when pressed, admit that their budget testimony is tainted.

"I think there is a lot of budget smoke and mirrors in the Pentagon budget which is not really a true, honest and accurate budget," he said. "When you confront military experts - retired or active - they concede these things to us."

The Pentagon disputed the chairman's claims.

"The Secretary of Defense has been very clear with the military leadership in this department that they should provide independent military advice and be as straightforward as possible with members of Congress," said Pentagon spokesman George Little. "That is a solemn obligation. We value Congress's oversight role and the secretary expects honest, straightforward input from our military leadership and he believes that's precisely what they do on a military basis time and time and time again."

The dispute comes as Congress tries to find a way to trim the huge federal budget before larger automatic cuts, called sequestration, kick in.

Rep. Bill Young, R-Florida, is chairman of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee. He would not agree that the generals are not truthful, but he does believe the White House tries to shape their testimony.

"I agree that the administration is having a large effect on the testimony that's being presented to Congress," he said.

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Filed under: Budget • Defense Spending • Military
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Jayme Walker Kristin I share your love for Starbucks and January Birthdays. I hope you have a great 30th birthday wenkeed. The best gift I got was for my 30th Birthday. Bret bought me 30 gifts!!! They were of different sizes and value. A Vera Bradley bag to my favorite candy bar. It wasn't about the gifts it was all the thought that he put into it.

    September 12, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Reply
  2. LouAz

    If I hear any more talk from these shitfaced Zionsits I am going to look up their IP's and pay them a visit. If our new president Santorum will hear my plea I am willing to front a new anti-zionist bureau of investigation that wioll hopefully, with the new president's support, eliminate them all.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:16 am | Reply
    • denied

      lou in arizona your not an idiot because you have yet to join the human race although you are races.

      March 30, 2012 at 10:27 am | Reply
  3. LouAz

    I am a Republican, and I don't like the answers given so I'll just find someone somplace that will give me the answer mu leader Herr Limbaugh wants. Oh, do you have the number for FOXNews ?

    March 30, 2012 at 1:06 am | Reply
  4. the wise

    Stop supporing zionist aggression.

    March 29, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Reply
  5. Mr Moderate

    Congress forces the military to purchase weapons they don't need and keep open bases they don't want, essentially maintaining a welfare program for their districts. I am sure the military would like to see cuts as they have to staff things they don't need rather than truly focus on defending the country. Why do Republicans hate our men and women in uniform?

    March 29, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Reply
  6. edfla

    Unfortunately our nation's military leadership has become a group of politically correct individuals. Those who have been appointed as Chief of their respective service and as the Chairman of the JCS since President Obama's inauguration only got those positions by giving up their integrity and honesty. They would not be in those positions if they hadn't offered their souls to the President. Rep. Paul knows of what he speaks.

    March 29, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Reply
    • Inglourious

      All general and flag officers are political by nature. Always have been.

      March 29, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Reply
      • edfla

        Wrong. Look up why Gen. Ron Fogelman retired early as AF Chief of Staff under Clinton.

        March 29, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • Bill in Florida

      Tell that to three Somali pirates, bin Laden, al-Awlaki, and Gaddhafi. Oh you can't, can you?, Because they're all dead from the President's leadership.

      March 30, 2012 at 12:16 am | Reply
    • M.D.

      And generals appointed under George W. Bush did not give up some intergity and honesty?

      March 30, 2012 at 6:48 am | Reply
  7. Maryellen

    Wow, what's he been smoking, look at his eyes?

    March 29, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Reply
  8. Pander Bear

    Translation: Are you sure you don't want another aircraft carrier? They're really cool. And I'm sure I can steal more away from old ladies and children to pay for it.

    March 29, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Reply
  9. Geek

    Our heros motivations are never to be questioned, provided every dime they ask for with no questions asked.. After all they have been winning the war for over 8 years against a third world country, have missed every weapon system milestone and cost estimate by > 80% for the past 20 years.

    March 29, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  10. Caught YA

    Did someone say that the budget was tainted ? Or was that twisted , or was that shaded or was that full of crap ?

    obama is the american commander and chief , the BOSS . crap can run up hill once it gets momentum running down hill first .

    March 29, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  11. Jeff in San Diego

    Surprising. A Republican who wants to give his gun and weapon manufacturing friends some of our tax money that we borrow from China – who by the way spends 1/5 of what we do on military and they are the next biggest army in the world.

    March 29, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  12. CoJo

    in otherwords if Ryan does not like your reasoning he wants to tell you "THE RIGHT REASON".

    March 29, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Reply
  13. hinding in the attic when the house is afire

    the sham and scam and failure to defend american interest and treaties , may very well be the weak link to someones plans and future.

    the curtain has been drawn back and a clear view is now coming into focus. azerbijan is just an example of others taking responsiblity for their future, but hey , i could very well be wrong , but from what is coming into view , i will go with what i posted

    March 29, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Reply
  14. Danny C

    An administration that is trying to shape testimoney from military and intelligence sources to meet an agenda? NOOOO. That's just not possible! Every administration in memory has insisted the military and intelligence tell the truth and let the chips fall where they made.

    Ask Pat Tillman.

    You'll need a Ouiga Board to do it.

    March 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Reply
  15. Patriot Awesome

    So it's okay to dump billions of dollars into killing foreign people, but not health care for American citizens. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  16. Alfred the Great

    Cut, cut, cut, cut, cut and then cut some more. The Pentagon is full of wasteful programs and projects. Too many admirals, and generals.

    Cut, cut, cut, cut, let the sequestration begin.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  17. conniemb

    So what they are saying to the military personnel is "You lie." That seems to be their favorite line when they do not agree.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Reply
  18. Attila, The Hun

    The general can't provide a strategy driven budget because they have no strategy. Military planning is an oxymoron. All plans go into the dumpster once a battle commences. Any military commander will admit that. The military never has enough of anything – if pressed the general will not commit to anything without unlimited resources.

    The GOP = GREEDY OPPOSITION PARTY is just attempting to shift the debate away from programs that help everyday people to those that help their rich friends. The Congress is the one who insisted and passed the Budget Control Act. Now that cuts are looming they want to find a way around the promises they made. Typical bait and switch tactics.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Reply
    • David

      Youre an idiot!!!!

      March 29, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  19. V in Chicago

    Let the cuts stand! You asked for it, now deal with it.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  20. I am Not a Believer

    This is where the conspiracy theory starts. By our own elected officials. Not believing the high ranking military leaders. I can't understand how our congress has become so arrogant . They are a bunch of self-serving oafs.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Reply
  21. Cal Bob

    Whats with Ryan's blood-shot EYES ??

    March 29, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Reply
  22. Publius Novus

    A budget-driven defense strategy is long overdue, Rep. Ryan.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Reply
    • JohnW

      Amen, brother.

      March 29, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  23. chiz3914

    When people don't agree with me, I just say their lying just like you Ryan

    March 29, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Reply
  24. Bart

    If you want more money for the military budget, then raise taxes. He essentially wants to gut everything for the budget except the military and benefits to seniors (see his budget). They agreed to the cuts but now they don't want them. If you are going to gut the nation's budget, you have to give up some stuff that you want. Also, tired of hearing how Repubs do not want to pass along nightmare debt to the next generation, but that is exactly what their policies do – they want to cut all taxes, and not cut any spending for seniors or the military. That screws the next generations. Pathetic.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  25. EddyL

    Why? Because they don't agree with you? RETARD

    March 29, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  26. jaison

    so, the sec of defense and top military brass say they can do with less and the repubs, who wanna cut spending don't wanna listen???

    March 29, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  27. Scott

    Hey dipstick Ryan! If you don't have the money for three wars you don't fight three wars. A big part of the reason America is in such debt is fighting two lengthy wars and supporting nation building. You don't spend what we don't have. Good old GOP hypocrit. Blame the dems for wasting our money yet does the same thing.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  28. Richard

    Rep. Bill Young, R-Florida is a typical rethuglican–place the blame on people who are not testifying. Of course, its President Obama–he wants to go down in history as the only president who has manipulated the pentagon. What rock did this guy come out from under!

    March 29, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Reply
  29. delos

    Let the sequestrations begin don't give these republican prick room to breath, These's A hole made there bed let them die in it.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Reply

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