Secretary Gates urges quick action on FY2010 war costs supplemental and warns of potential veto of FY2011 defense bills

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Secretary Gates urges quick action on FY2010 war costs supplemental and warns of potential veto of FY2011 defense bills

Testifying before the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee (SAC-D) on the FY 2011 budget request, Secretary Gates pressed Congress to act quickly on the FY2010 supplemental request.  The so-called SAC “wrap up” hearing is traditionally the last major budget hearing before committees start to develop their bills.  Secretary Gates reiterated DoD’s priorities for the FY2011 budget:  1) strengthen the commitment to the all-volunteer force; 2) rebalance U.S. defense posture by addressing capabilities needed to meet today’s challenges and those required in the future; and 3) reform how the department does business.  He underscored his recent statements (Highlights, June 11, 2010) about the need to find $100 billion in savings to support the force structure and invest in needed modernization.  Secretary Gates emphasized his opposition to congressional funding to continue producing C-17s and to support the F-35 (JSF) alternative engine program.  He restated his recommendation that the president should veto a defense authorization or appropriations bill that includes such funding.  Secretary Gates also made a plea for quick passage on the $33 billion for FY2010 war costs supplemental appropriations.  He warned that “if the supplemental is not enacted by the July 4th Congressional recess, we will have to begin planning to curtail defense operations.”  ADM Mullen, CJCS, also testified at the hearing and provided an update on operations in Afghanistan and urged support for the FY2011 budget request.

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