Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene insisted that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin take a hefty pay cut, saying that Austin should virtually work for free and proposing a salary of $1 for the Def Sec. But this widely reported condemnation — plugged into a bill (see below) — doesn’t quite communicate the level of disrespect Greene really means to show the leader of America’s military.
Greene actually said that the dollar salary for Austin was generous — “too much” in her words. “Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has been a failure for our military and for America,” Greene wrote on X. “Last night, the DOD appropriations bill passed the House with my Holman rule amendment to reduce his salary to $1. But even that’s too much.”
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has been a failure for our military and for America.— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) September 29, 2023
Last night, the DOD appropriations bill passed the House with my Holman rule amendment to reduce his salary to $1.
But even that’s too much..https://t.co/jt4t99cGLO
Austin, a retired Army General, will continue to make his salary of $220,000 annually. Greene’s protest is just that — a protest to back up her assertion that Austin has been a failure. [Greene’s salary in Congress is approximately $174,000, though a recent bill proposed a COLA (cost of living adjustment) raise for Representatives.]
There are critics who believe the Defense Secretary job should not go to a military veteran at all — that it is “expressly created for a civilian” — and the law, which was adjusted for Austin, requires a military veteran occupying the post should have left the service more than seven years before becoming Secretary. (Austin had been retired four years before being nominated.)
But Greene’s objection isn’t about that — she concludes Austin is a failure because he allegedly has allowed the military to go “woke.”
Austin himself has responded to this accusation in testimony before Congress, saying: “U.S. service members are smart. They are focused and they spend 99% of their time focused on defending this country and developing additional capabilities that they will need to be successful on the battlefield.” Austin added: “So any notion that they’re woke or that our military is woke, you know, I take issue with that because it’s just not true. It’s a false narrative and they deserve better than that.”
Here is what President Joe Biden said when he chose Austin for the post:
In his more than 40 years in the United States Army, Austin met every challenge with extraordinary skill and profound personal decency. He is a true and tested soldier and leader. I’ve spent countless hours with him, in the field and in the White House Situation Room. I’ve sought his advice, seen his command, and admired his calm and his character. He is the definition of a patriot. He rose through the Army’s ranks during his distinguished and trailblazing career. He was the 200th person ever to attain the rank of an Army four-star general, but only the sixth African American. He built a career grounded in service to this country and challenged the institution that he loves to grow more inclusive and more diverse at every step.Joe Biden
Let’s check in on the what House Republicans are doing to avert a government shutdown …— The Recount (@therecount) September 27, 2023
(They just adopted by voice vote an amendment that would reduce Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s salary to no more than $1.) pic.twitter.com/Pl2m0Ltp7p