Conaton Makes Plea for War Supplemental’s Passage

The Air Force will start to run out of funding to support operations in Afghanistan and Iraq in about five weeks if Congress does not approve the 2010 war supplemental spending bill soon, Erin Conaton, undersecretary of the Air Force, told House lawmakers Thursday. “We certainly encourage as quickly as possible passage of the supplemental,” she told the House Armed Service Committee during a hearing. The House and Senate are currently sparing over adds-on for non-military domestic programs in the House version of the bill and the Congressional August recess is looming. Conaton said operations and maintenance accounts would run dry “at the end of August,” followed by military personnel coffers “by the third week in September.” She said the Air Force might have to resort to furloughs if the supplemental funds aren’t available soon. “We may be able to do some temporary additional reprogramming, but that wouldn’t buy very much time,” she added.