Quit War Supplementals, Says Comptroller Nominee

Robert Hale, the person picked to control the Pentagon’s purse strings under the Obama Administration, told lawmakers last week that the Pentagon needs to “move away” from supplementals to fund its war operations. During his Jan. 15 nomination hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Hale said that if he is confirmed for the comptroller post, he would “look at how quickly” he could wean the military off of them. But, “without question,” the Defense Department is still “going to need” a second supplemental spending package for Fiscal 2009, he said. Hale was responding to questioning by Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.). “One of the realities of the last several years has been robust supplemental appropriations,” Reed said to Hale, adding, “I think that is not something that you’re going to enjoy as comptroller.”