July 11, 2023

Manchin Questions Nominee for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), questioned General Charles Q. Brown, Jr., USAF on his nomination to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. This position is the highest ranking and most senior military officer in the United States Armed Forces. Senator Manchin questioned General Brown on the importance of passing a national budget on time, promoting fiscal responsibility within the Department of Defense (DoD) and reinstating the Department’s Chief Management Officer position.

On the military and economic importance of passing a national budget on time:

“The bottom line is – if we do our job on time and get our budget done in Congress by September 30th, what does that mean to you all? How much money would that save you by not going into the continuing resolutions or an omnibus bill?” Senator Manchin questioned. “The American Enterprise Institute threw out a rough estimate of $200 million per day under the latest continuing resolution that covered the start of Fiscal Year 2023. That’s a total of $18 billion.”

On promoting fiscal responsibility within the DoD:

“On the topic of fiscal responsibility, I’ve been extremely concerned about the lack of progress in business modernization, auditing, commercial cost comparisons, independent evaluations of programs and how they’re run. The Department of Defense is the only Department in the federal government that we don’t have an audit,” Senator Manchin said in part. “If you could commit to getting the Department audited and making sure they do it in a timely fashion, it would be very helpful for us to do our jobs here and make sure we’re appropriating the funds that are needed.”

On reinstating the DoD Chief Management Officer position:

“They abolished the Chief Management Officer position within the Department in 2020…Thankfully, I had an amendment in the NDAA this year to reinstate the Chief Management Officer position and to ensure the Department has this leadership position. Based on your 40 years of military service and your nomination to become the most senior member of our military service, do you believe that the Department would benefit from a confirmed and chartered Chief Management Officer?” Senator Manchin questioned.

A video of Senator Manchin’s questioning of the witness can be found here.