OMB denies role in program cut decisions
While Defense Secretary Robert Gates has had Pentagon officials participating in discussions of potential program cuts sign nondisclosure agreements, that has not stopped rampant speculation about the cuts. Word spread in mid-March via the Web that the Office of Management and Budget had recommended cutting or delaying 22 major Defense Department programs.
Congressional Quarterly reported on March 10 that the Obama Administration was holding up the Air Force’s refueling tanker program, which is in turnaround after the award of the program to Northrop Grumman Corp. and Airbus (part of the European aerospace giant EADS Co.) was rescinded. CQ reported that the administration had asked the Pentagon to delay the program for five years.
The problem is, the reports were flat-out wrong. OMB spokesman Ken Baer told Reuters, “OMB has not directed the Defense Department either to delay production of the new tanker or cancel the new bomber. Reports that suggest the OMB made such recommendations are simply wrong.”
Major cuts in programs will probably not happen until after the Quadrennial Defense Review, which Secretary Gates has accelerated.
Posted by Sean Gallagher on Mar 23, 2009 at 9:30 AM