The Army can continue the efforts in Iraq thanks to the Navy and Air Force coughing up some bucks.
The Army will be able to meet its next military and civilian payroll and all defense operations will continue full-bore, thanks to last-minute congressional moves to let the Pentagon shift Navy and Air Force personnel and operations funds into the Army and other defense accounts, the Pentagon said Wednesday.
Officials had announced May 28 that unless Congress approved by June 9 its remaining emergency supplemental war funding request of $102.1 billion — or, at least, $9.7 billion as a stopgap — the Army would not be able to meet its payroll after June 15.
On Wednesday, Congress gave permission to reprogram $1.6 billion into the operations and maintenance accounts of the Army and other agencies, Defense Department spokesman Geoff Morrell said.
That came on the heels of congressional approval to reprogram $5.7 billion into military personnel accounts to avert the impending Army payroll shortfall, said Army Lt. Col. Brian Maka, a Pentagon spokesman.
“We will now be able to pay our troops until the end of July,” Morrell said. “And operations and maintenance accounts will remain solvent until mid-July.”
So, how do we get past July you ask? Turns out that Secretary Gordon England has asked for every department to submit lists of “vital” personnel, so when we get to that point, and Congress has still failed to approve the funding for our men and women in uniform, we’ll just start firing people.
How many soldiers are going to get fired? Oh yeah… none. They’ll just not get paid.
Should funding run out, service members and certain “essential” civilian personnel, including those serving in the war zones, would continue to serve without pay. Nonessential civilian employees would be laid off per applicable personnel rules, the Pentagon earlier said.
The fact that we’re even to this point is tragic, sad, and a testament to the partisan politics gripping Congress. Moreover, it shows that the too many people still don’t understand that, regardless of how we got to Iraq, we are there and now have a responsibility to stay until the country is stable. It’s international law. So stop bickering and pay the bills.