Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) sponsored an amendment, which the House of Representatives decided to adopt, causing controversy and tension in Congress over the possibility of a government shutdown.
The amendment seeks to reduce the salary of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to a mere $1, an action that has drawn sharp criticism and debate from both sides of the aisle.
Rep. Greene’s decision to introduce this amendment was motivated by her belief that Secretary Austin needed to fulfill his duties adequately.
She accused Austin of destroying the military in her impassioned speech on the House floor.
She pointed to concerns regarding his handling of military recruitment and the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Following the House vote, Rep. Greene took to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, to reiterate her stance, emphasizing a “loss in confidence in Lloyd Austin’s leadership” and asserting that he deserves to be fired.
Lloyd Austin, who made history as the first Black Secretary of Defense, currently receives an annual salary exceeding $221,000, as reported by Defense News.
Rep. Greene invoked the Holman rule to advance her amendment, a legislative provision that empowers lawmakers to propose amendments to appropriations bills.
These amendments can include reductions in federal employee salaries, the termination of specific federal employees, or the elimination of particular programs.
Rep. Greene’s Controversial Defense Secretary Salary Cut Amendment
In this instance, Rep. Greene’s amendment has been incorporated into the broader defense spending bill.
However, she has declared her intent to vote against the bill, citing her opposition to its provision for additional aid to Ukraine.
Notably, her position aligns with other conservative lawmakers who share concerns about allocating resources to Ukraine.
Responding to Rep. Greene’s amendment and the subsequent House vote, Sabrina Singh, a spokeswoman for the Pentagon, offered a statement.
Singh emphasized that Secretary Austin remains steadfastly focused on leading the Department of Defense.
His primary objective is to ensure that US service members stationed across the globe receive the necessary resources and support required to carry out their mission of defending the nation.
The vote on Rep. Greene’s amendment has further exacerbated the already strained atmosphere in Congress.
The government faces the looming threat of a shutdown as lawmakers grapple with the broader budgetary issues and contentious debates surrounding defense spending, foreign aid, and leadership within the Department of Defense.
As Congress navigates these complex and politically charged waters, the fate of the defense spending bill and Secretary Austin’s salary reduction remains uncertain.
The ongoing disagreements underscore the challenges of achieving bipartisan consensus on critical national interests and security matters.
Source: USA Today