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Mr. Murtha. Well, what I worry about, Mr. Secretary, is I am starting to get serious complaints from the public, especially Guard and Reserve families. For instance, I saw a Smith Barney poll that showed defense spending support from the American public went from 50 percent to 30 percent in less than a month. Obviously, we react to those kind of poll figures.
There is no question, you know how I stand. I am for the reconstruction money, I am for the $87 billion completely. But what worries me is the Guard who is older, we find they are about 10 years older, from what I understand, a lot of problems, health problems which we didn't anticipate, some of them are not in as good condition as they should be in, because it is just the nature of being in the Guard as opposed to being in the regulars.
If we keep sending them over such an extended period of time, there is all the disruption to their life. I hope we can find a different way of doing it. I don't know what the answer is, but certainly we have got some Marine units out there, we got maybe some other ways of doing it. But when you get a mix of more Reserve and Guard people than you have regulars, I worry about that mix, and I worry about the support of the public.
I can see a difference in the people in the hospitals. I was just out to the hospital today. Ms. Pelosi asked me to go out with her. From the time I went out there when they first came in during the war, and the times I went out since then, I can see a difference from the families and so forth, and I just worry that there is so many Guards and Reserves out there, the employers are starting to get upset. So we are going to have an erosion, which we can't afford. We have to have the support of the American public or we are not going to get this job done, because it is such a tough job.
CONTRIBUTIONS FROM DONOR COUNCIL
The other thing, you know, we talk about the coalition forces. I think we have to be realistic. The last war we collected $60 billion. It went through this Committee, so I know exactly how much it was. This time, let me ask Dr. Zakheim, how much do you think we are going to collect from this Donors Council you are having?
Mr. Zakheim. I certainly cannot make that kind of prediction. But I can tell you though, Mr. Murtha, we have made it very clear in all our discussions with potential donors, that we have come to the Congress and asked for $20 billion, that Ambassador Bremer has identified a total need of $50 billion; to $75 billion; and that we are looking for donations that are in the billions rather than the millions. We have made that unequivocal.
Mr. Murtha. I say $5 billion is unrealistic?
Mr. Zakheim. I wouldn't hazard a guess. Whatever I say, there will be some that will say that is too much, there will be others that say we cannot do it. We just want to go after these folks and tell them, "people, don't think in the millions, think in the billions."
Mr. Murtha. The reason I asked that question, I remember when you came for $6 billion and I asked you, is that enough money? You said it was enough money. It wasn't enough money, you knew it wasn't enough money. All of us knew it. So I would hope we are getting enough money.
This reconstruction money is as important as anything we do, in my estimation. It is just as important as the military money, and I hope that we are getting enough out there initially to get the electricity back, to get the people to work and so forth. So I would just ask that we get the urgency to get this stuff out to the field once you get the money, get the money to Bremer.
Secretary Rumsfeld. May I just make a comment on the first part of your question concerning the forces. You are right, there is nothing more important in the Department of Defense than the people, and we simply have to manage the force in a way that is respectful of the employers and respectful of the family, and we have to find that balance. We are working with the services to see that that happens.
The other thing I would say is that we look not just to the United States forces for the security if Iraq, we are looking to U.S., coalition and the Iraqis. To go from zero to 56,000, plus another 14,000 recruited and in training, for a total of 70,000, in a matter of 4 or 5 months, reflects the urgency that we put on seeing that the Iraqis are taking over the security of that country. That is their job and we need to be willing and ready and have them ready to transfer that responsibility to them.
Mr. Murtha. Well, as you said, the amount of time it took to do this in other countries, and I think we may be unrealistic to think we can do it so quickly, because, as Ambassador Bremer said, we put some police out there, we are going to have to draw back because some of them aren't doing too well. I talked to an MP today who was wounded. She thought there was progress. I talked to another young fellow, he thought they were worthless. It depends on the individual how it is going to turn out. But I have always urged an urgency in this thing, because I think we have a limited time to get the thing on track.
Mr. Lewis. Thank you, Jack. We are going to be staying close to a 5-minute rule for the members individually, maybe get a couple of rounds perhaps as we go forward here.
Let me call on Mr. Young, our Chairman.
Remarks Of Mr. Young
Mr. YOUNG. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. I would say that you look awfully good for just having made a very lengthy trip to the war zone.
Mr. Secretary, General and Dr. Zakheim, we have to complete this mission. We have to complete it as efficiently and expeditiously as we can. There are some who have suggested that we are mortgaging our children's future because of the additional costs involved here. But my point is that what we do here today is to secure the next generation and the generations to follow, so that we can have them have a lifestyle that is free from airplanes flying into buildings or biological or germ warfare or chemical warfare, attacking people in our streets, in our homes, in our businesses. So I think it is essential that we do this.
I am pleased that the President struck out boldly after September 11, because I know and you know that in previous years, with the bombing of the U.S.S. COLE, the bombing of Khobar Towers, the bombing in Tanzania and Kenya of our embassies, that the response was rather lukewarm; a lot of words but not much action. I think this emboldened the terrorists, that while the United States, this big giant, is not going to respond to these terrorists attacks, so they get bolder. We know they planned September 11 for a long time.
So the Congress has been very supportive of the President, and the Congress will continue to be supportive of the President and those of you who carry out his directions as we make this investment in our future generations so that we can be free from the fear of terrorism.
I spoke earlier I think to you, Mr. Secretary, personally. I intend to move this supplemental bill as quickly as I can. It is important that the Congress has questions answered. It is important I think for the President and the administration to have a full and open transparent program here. So we will have some interesting questions.
But I believe that you will find strong support in the House to complete this mission and to do what has to be done to guarantee that those next generations of our children and grandchildren, great grandchildren, do not have to live with the fear of terrorism.
FLEXIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY
Now, I do have some questions though that relate specifically to the bill. In September right after the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Mr. Obey and I moved a bill through the Congress, $40 billion, a $40 billion supplemental, not knowing exactly how much was needed, because this was new to us, having this kind of attack in our homeland.
But we moved quickly and gave the President considerable discretion because we felt he had to have considerable discretion to do whatever had to be done to recover and to prevent a future event. Of that $40 billion, there was a $14 billion discretionary account that you pretty much had total control over, other than eventually reporting to the Congress.
Then in a later supplemental, there was another $11.9 billion in a discretionary account, along with the other monies that were appropriated. And then in a spring supplemental this year, there was another $15.7 billion into discretionary accounts. These are over and above the specific accounts.
Now in the request of the $87 billion, you have asked for transfer authority of another $7.5 billion that would allow you to transfer from one account to another.
SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND AUDIT
What I am getting at here is you have had considerable flexibility in an awful lot of money, $41.6 billion just in the supplemental alone. So I am wondering about something that you have read about, a story that has taken on a life of its own because of an e-mail that was sent from one Elaine Kingston to Special Operations Command asking for $40 million to be parked in some account that would give OSD considerable flexibility in using that money.
One of my questions will be, is that a normal practice? If it is not, what brought this about on this occasion. And if it is a normal practice, since the special operations command is one of your smaller budgets, I wonder how much other agencies might have been asked to park money in this program. This may be totally within the rules and the regulations and the procedures that we go by, but if that is the case, we need to know that.
The thing that created a little suspicion on my part was a followup in the e-mail that said, and I am quoting from the e-mail now, "I just wanted to follow up with an e-mail to ensure that the staffer briefing slides for these programs do include these funds and that the briefer not highlight or discuss them during staffer briefings."
We depend on our staff to get as much detail as they can for us.
The e-mail goes on to say, "In other words, we can't say my original program was XX, but OSD parked some money in it, so now it is YY."
I am not sure why the briefers, it would be suggested that they not let Congress know about this, and if they should be asked, they should defend it as their own account, not OSD's, but the money was to be parked for OSD.
Tell me something about this. Frankly, I am curious about this, and a lot of other people are curious about it. One of my Senators in Florida has a big headline going on the story. The Washington Post had a story this morning. The Associated Press put out on their wire services a story about this. It may be totally proper, but I think we need to either—if it is proper, we need to put it to rest. If it is not proper, we need to find out where we stand on it.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Mr. Chairman, we have seen the article as well, and my understanding is that the Defense Department Inspector General is currently auditing that and has been, I think, for a couple of months, since August. You may know more than I do.
Mr. Zakheim. Yes. Mr. Chairman, yes, we got a letter from the Inspector General at the beginning of August, I think dated August 6, that they were going to audit this. The first thing that needs to be cleared up, is that this is not an investigation. The inspector General made that very, very clear. They have also made clear to me that I have to be very careful about what I am saying, because I am not supposed to talk about an audit they have undertaken. Finally, although audits can normally take as much as a year, they are trying to get this done in a matter of months. That is number one.
As to your larger question, "parked" is obviously a pretty unfortunate term, needless to say.
Mr. Young. It was not my term. I was quoting.
Mr. ZAKHEIM. I know. I have not seen those e-mails, by the way. What I can say is that, in the first place, we do not do this kind of thing in some kind of sleight-of-hand way. In fact, we can't even move more than $10 million because anything more than $10 million, even from one line item to another, requires prior approval reprogramming. So that is number one.
Secondly, in the budget formulation, certainly neither I nor my deputy nor his deputy instructed anybody to hide anything from the staff. We prepare a budget, we present it to the staff, the staff scrutinizes it and scrubs it.
Third of all, the accounts, are what are called Defense-Wide accounts, and those, unlike the service accounts, clearly are going to be managed by OSD. We simply look for priorities as we are allocating the funds and we put the monies into priority areas.
Clearly, SOCOM is a priority. So, both in terms of how we put it together, in terms of how we move the money, and in terms of how we allocate the priorities, I think the method is tried and true and very much above board. But I can not talk to the specifics of the audit, for obvious reasons. I hope that helps you a little bit.
Mr. Young. It helps a little bit, and I understand the Inspector General has his own requirements as to privacy during the investigation. But I think probably I was more concerned about the second half of that e-mail, where it was an obvious intent to keep from Congress what was happening. Frankly, I think that would make you suspicious, it makes me a little suspicious, and you don't have to do that.
You know, this Congress has been very supportive of this administration in all of these supplemental requests. I don't think you have to hide anything from us, and you should not. The Constitution is pretty clear when it points out that Congress must appropriate the money. But that section of the Constitution goes even further and says that Congress will have an accounting for the money.
So, we will be anxious to learn about the Inspector General's review of this. But maybe there should be a sensitivity training for people that write e-mails not to hint that we should avoid letting Congress know what is happening.
Secretary RUMSFELD. We will be as interested in learning about the e-mails as you.
Mr. YOUNG. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Lewis. Thank you, Mr. Young.
Mr. OBEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, first of all, I ask unanimous consent to put in the record the article to which the Committee Chairman just referred in his comments and questions.
Mr. Lewis. Without objection.
[The article follows:]