Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, speaking to a group of think tankers at the Atlantic Council on Monday in Washington, responded to criticism of the Pentagon’s support for the president’s budget proposal with some strong words.
Budget Committee Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., now famously criticized the military’s support of the budget to Capitol Hill, saying that he could not believe the generals could support the president’s proposal. Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., also said that there is a debate within the Pentagon about the budget.
Ryan has since said he misspoke in his criticism.
When asked about the criticism, Schwartz said that the Pentagon acted in response to the Budget Control Act to craft a tight budget, and although he wishes “it could be Christmas every day,” the military found cuts that it could sustain.
“The adults did this,” Schwartz said. “I’m not sure to whom (they) are talking about, but I can tell you with certainty it isn’t the Joint Chiefs.”