As Eric Kleefeld reported, President Obama will nominate Rep. John McHugh (R-NY)--ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee--to be the Secretary of the Army later today. If all goes as planned, though, McHugh will be working in a Pentagon he has recently, and dubiously, attacked.
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In April, McHugh criticized the administration's Pentagon budget outline, which he inaccurately characterized as a proposed defense spending cut. He suggested, moreover, that Pentagon officials had complained to committee minority that the budget would slash defense spending by $8 billion. That claim couldn't be verified, but Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters, basically, that McHugh was fudging.
"Some of these things we have put in the base budget we elected to put into the base budget to send a signal to the troops that these things were going to be a permanent part of the budget, that we weren't going to be dependent on a supplemental," Gates said. "[W]hat you chose to put into the supplemental and so on, is probably how Mr. McHugh gets to his numbers."