Isakson Says Democrats Playing Politics With Troop Funding

There was a time when the Defense Authorization Bill wasn’t generally used as a political football. Can’t say exactly when that ended, but a morning story from Politico notes the unusual step of the Pentagon openly coordinating a political plan as part of the executive branch.

The memo, prepared for Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Deputy Secretary Bob Work, reads at times like an intelligence assessment of congressional leaders. It provides an unusually clear window into the tactics the Defense Department’s top officials are using in an increasingly partisan feud over their budget — particularly striking for an agency that seeks to avoid the perception of involvement in election-year politics.

The strategy it lays out will come to a head as Congress returns Tuesday, and will probably spill into the lame-duck session, as the House and Senate decide whether to include an extra $18 billion in war funding in the final defense authorization and appropriations bills they send to President Barack Obama.

As predicted in the story, Republican members of Congress are not amused. Senator Isakson has forwarded the following reaction:

“I am appalled by the new low that this partisan administration has sunk to, blatantly playing politics with funding for our troops,” said Isakson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “As if it weren’t enough that Senate Democrats continue to filibuster funding for active-duty troops and our veterans, now the Pentagon is putting politics over national defense with the shockingly irresponsible and outright shameful political strategy laid out in its memo leaked over the weekend. I urge my Democrat colleagues in the Senate to abandon political games and support critical funding for our warfighters who deserve far better from this administration.”

In an era of bitterly divided partisanship, expect everything to be political between now and November 8th. There are no sacred cows. This includes our troops.

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Benevolus
Benevolus

So, if I understand this, Republicans want to add an extra $18 billion to the defense budget that the Pentagon didn’t ask for, and do it “off the books” so that they can avoid the sequester deal they agreed to?

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

Complaints about defense spending politics from the guy that knows more about the planes the Air Force needs than the Air Force.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Isakson says Democrats trying to prevent waste of taxpayer dollars.

Isakson says Democrats trying to keep Republicans from reneging on a sequester they agreed to.

Hmm. These don’t have the same ring.

xdog
xdog

Isakson’s response is overheated and misdirected. If he’s so upset he should yell at Ryan and his crew for starting this scam or the Pentagon for planning to counter it.

I’m beginning to believe the polls that say his race will be close.

davidmac
davidmac

Every time a Republican refers to his “Democrat [friends|colleagues|whatever]”, he is not being sincere. The adjective form is Democratic.

Republicans have been using “Democrat” as a deliberate pejorative since the days of McCarthy, and it enjoyed two recent renaissances in Gingrich and from GWB on to today. Stop it.

http://www.npr.org/sections/ombudsman/2010/03/since_when_did_it_become_the_d.html

Noway2016
Noway2016

Seriously? What shall they be called? Democratics? Hilly is a democrat. Bill is a democrat. Way too much time…

davidmac
davidmac

He is a democrat. He belongs to the Democratic Party.
She is a democrat. She belongs to the Democratic Party.

It’s not hard. If you choose to be intransigent about it, that’s your choice and I will call you out on it as insincere. If you call a colleague “Mike” and he says “it’s Michael”, and you continue to call him Mike, you’re a jerk.

Noway2016
Noway2016

Hey Dave, grab a tissue and take your hormones. You have my permission to call those of us who are members of the Republican Party….wait for it…Repubs! Feel better? LOL!! Dave, “Can’t we all just get along??!?!?”

davidmac
davidmac

Thanks for the ad hominem.

Your permission is not at issue here.

gcp
gcp

Congress should eliminate Overseas Contingency Operations funding and incorporate that spending into one Defense Authorization bill so taxpayers can clearly see how much we spend on the military.