Congress Stands in Way of Cuts, DoD Says

March 19, 2013

Amid accusations that the Defense Department still has bloated budgets — and protects them by hyping the potential harm of even modest cuts — the Pentagon’s top financial officer said big cuts are in fact being made and more are coming.

DoD Comptroller Robert Hale noted that more than 20 weapons systems have been “restructured or eliminated,” and the U.S. Joint Forces Command, the 2nd Fleet and two Air Operations Centers were consolidated.

Testifying Tuesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Hale said more could have been done, but Congress often stands in the way — preventing some units from being closed and some weapons from being retired, as well as restricting efforts to pass on more health care costs to beneficiaries and slow the growth of military pay.

“DoD can propose but Congress must dispose,” Hale said.

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