In a letter sent Tuesday to Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Office of Budget and Management Director Jacob Lew directly contradicted his agency’s guidelines regarding funding protocol in the Continuing Resolution (CR). The September OMB guidance directed lawmakers that funding could not be authorized for programs if either the House or Senate had passed a bill excluding appropriations for such program at the time of the CR’s passage.
However, Lew’s statement Tuesday reveals that the White House that pledged “unprecedented” transparency does not feel accountable to its own rulemaking. The letter sent to Sen. Brown asserts that funding will be authorized for the Joint Strike Fighter alternative engine line despite the fact that the program had not been authorized in the Senate Defense Appropriations bill and was not included in the Defense Authorization Act that passed the Senate this morning. Thus, under OMB’s September guidance, funding should not automatically continue for the alternative engine unless requested by the Pentagon, which opposes continuing the secondary engine line.
“The White House has pulled another fast one on taxpayers,” said Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist. “Having broken his “firm pledge” on taxes and his campaign promises to cut spending, President Obama’s platitudes on accountability have become another post-election casualty. After decrying the pork-barrel process on the campaign trail, the President has some explaining to do, since his new OMB Director is willing to circumvent his own agency’s directives to award political favors.”