House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., claimed Thursday that senior U.S. military officials and commanders were being dishonest in their budget requests to Congress.
“We don’t think the generals are giving us their true advice,” Ryan said at the National Journal Live Budget Policy summit, adding, “I think there’s a lot of budget smoke and mirrors in the Pentagon’s budget.”
Ryan's comment referred to a common Republican complaint that the defense request -- which is strongly supported by the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- was not "strategy-driven," and was based instead on an artificial spending cap. The chiefs, in testimony and public remarks since early February, have said they carefully built a strategy and a budget to meet the required limits of the Budget Control Act that Congress passed last year and endorsed the fiscal 2013 request.
In his fiscal 2013 budget, Ryan proposed dismantling the automatic sequestration of defense spending, replacing those cuts with unspecified savings from mandatory programs.