Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Can't begin to tell you how angry this makes me

War Budget Struggle Claims Its First Victim - Family Spending

Did the Dems really think that their hissyfit and refusal to pass the current military spending bill was SUPPORTING the troops?

Rolled out to much fanfare at U.S. Army garrisons across the globe in October and November, the Army Family Covenant, as the initiative is called, is the cornerstone of the Army’s plans to bulk up programs and services for families stressed by frequent deployments.

But because virtually all funding for the covenant — $1.4 billion — is tied up in the funding bill that is at the center of a clash between Congress and the president, none of the promised funds have yet made their way to Army families or even to garrisons in Europe.

Concerned that the bill might not pass before money for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan runs out, Gen. Richard Cody, the Army’s vice chief of staff, has ordered all commands and activities to draft plans for reduced operations at Army posts.

According to Cody’s order, the effort’s intent is to reduce funding for some operations “to the minimum essential level.”

Pete Geren, the secretary of the Army, told Congress he may need to reduce some of the same services the Army pledged to improve in its “covenant,” such as counseling for returning soldiers and their families, and family and youth activities, in order to shift money to the war budget.

That is a possibility “if the supplemental doesn’t pass,” said Ned Christensen, a spokesman for Installation Management Command in Washington.

At this point, though, installations are being told to continue at their previous funding level, he said. That level, though, is where programs were funded before the covenant.

Plans to cut back on nonessential programs and services will, if necessary, go into effect in late February, Christensen said.

Among the covenant’s goals are increases in the number of paid assistants to deal with family issues at a battalion level; extension of child-care operating hours; expansion of hourly and respite care; increase in the number of Army Community Service personnel; and expansion of youth programs.

The covenant, which is really a statement of commitment to another initiative — the Army Soldier Family Action Plan — also includes plans to beef up health care, family housing, schools and family member education and employment opportunities.

We're not even talking about the need to divert funds yet, this is money appropriated for these programs that the Dems are holding hostage.

Way to go with supporting the troops there gang...maybe instead of whining about how the Bush Administration isn't personally giving out free phone calls to each and every wounded soldier (something that the USO, MWR, and many other groups already do) you might talk to your congressmen and tell them to pass the funding bill that will provide extra counselors, child care, healthcare, and employment helps for soldiers and their families.

If that's what you consider support, then no thanks.

Yeah, this one pisses me off...can you tell?



At December 14, 2007 12:31 AM, Blogger Alicia said...

Anything we can do about this?


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