Pushing back against charges the White House has micromanaged the Defense Department, administration officials Thursday pushed the blame to Congress, saying lawmakers are the ones micromanaging what happens at the Pentagon by refusing to tackle needed budget reforms.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Congress has taken “first prize” in terms of meddling with the Pentagon.
Outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel reportedly became frustrated with the White House’s micromanagement of the Defense Department; Mr. Hagel’s expected replace, Ashton Carter, will be formally announced by President Obama on Friday.
“The civilian and military authorities at the Pentagon have made clear to the United States Congress the kinds of budgetary reforms they believe are necessary to strengthen our military. Unfortunately we have seen Congress not undertake those reforms,” Mr. Earnest said.
“I don’t think could you do much more to imagine a scenario where the Pentagon is hamstrung by micromanaging than to have the United States Congress unwilling to take basic budget reforms that the leadership of the Pentagon themselves are saying are critical to the success of the Department of Defense as they undertake the important work of keeping us safe from threats across the globe … When it comes to micromanaging, I think Congress has once again taken first prize,” he said.