Murtha says Rumsfeld appointees frustrate oversight, cuts Pentagon agency budget
Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) halved the budget of a Pentagon liaison office to the Congress in retaliation for what he sees as Defense Department foot-dragging on Congressional oversight. The Congressman's staff suggested leftovers from the tenure of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld were at fault for the lapses in cooperation with Congress.
The Office of Legislative Affairs, which serves as a go-between for Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Capitol Hill, is slated to lose $1.9 million.
"Mr. Murtha said that they have failed to answer Congressional questions in a timely matter," Matthew Mazonkey, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Democrat, said. The congressman chairs the powerful Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
Legislative Affairs spokeswoman Tracy Scott referred RAW STORY to the Pentagon's press office. Pentagon spokesman Brian Maka, in turn, was reticent.
"The Office of Legislative Affairs performs a very important function as a liaison with Congress," Maka told RAW STORY Thursday afternoon. "It's inappropriate to talk about proposed legislation."
Murtha is on the right track here, but taking 1.5 million from any part of the Pentagon is like taking a nickel from a child's long-term piggy bank. It won't make a big difference in the long term! However, it gets some media attention given to one more area in which Bushco is actually doing the opposite of what they say they're doing, and it also sends a message to Bushco that at least some Congress Critters like Murtha aren't rolling over and playing dead....or asking Bushco to please rub their bellies!
AND don't you just LOVE that "it's inappropriate to talk about proposed legislation" comment? As one person said at the link in the COMMENTS section:
Pentagon spokesman Brian Maka: "It's inappropriate to talk about proposed legislation."
Yeah, it's inappropriate to talk about the scandals of this administration. It's inappropriate to call the president a liar...even if he is one!
Please explain to me, like I'm a 3 year-old, why it's inapproprite to discuss proposed legislation in an open, democratic society.
Answer: BECAUSE IT AIN'T AN OPEN, DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY!!!