WASHINGTON, May 31 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army has started cutting costs to make its funding for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan last until at least early July.
The cost-cutting measures will be implemented while the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate continue their negotiations on the fiscal 2006 emergency supplemental spending bill, CongressDaily reported Wednesday.
The Army's plan, according to an internal e-mail from Army Vice Chief of Staff Richard Cody, is to gradually restrict spending over the next few weeks, with options growing as dire as suspending recruitment efforts and postponing promotions if Congress does not send the supplemental to President Bush for signing before the July 4 congressional recess.
"These are painful actions but they are absolutely necessary in order to continue operations during the month of June," Cody wrote in an e-mail circulated last week, a copy of which was obtained by CongressDaily. "This measured response will provide appropriate controls on our spending of [operations and maintenance] resources and will minimize the impact on our mission."
Resources, Cody said, should be spent on the "highest priority missions." The service's operations and maintenance accounts for fiscal 2006 now stand at $5.6 billion, not including any budgetary reprogramming efforts. The Army expects to receive more than $36 billion out of the $92 billion-plus spending package for military operations and hurricane recovery efforts, CongressDaily said.
"You may continue recruiting efforts but cease all final offers of employment," Cody's e-mail said. If Congress does not pass the supplemental by June 15, the Army plans to release all temporary civilian employees performing operations and maintenance work, including depot workers. The service also will freeze all contract awards and suspend the use of government purchase cards.