WASHINGTON, DC - This week Congress will kick the can down the road once again and enact another wasteful Continuing Resolution. As Secretary of Defense Esper said last week, “CRs disrupt training, impede readiness, delay maintenance, impose uncertainty on the workforce, & induce inefficient & constrained contracting practices.”
These stop-gap measures do more than just waste taxpayer dollars, they deny our troops and the country tangible resources needed to keep America safe. A year-long CR would impose FY19 funding levels on the Pentagon that are billions less than the Appropriations or Authorizing bills being debated in Congress for the current fiscal year. A year-long CR would essentially cut billions from what senior commanders and national security leaders have testified is required to keep our country safe.
Below are examples of those cuts when compared with the FY20 Authorization and Appropriations bills. A year-long CR will:
Cut at least $3.8 billion from Military Personnel Programs: This will impact our troops and their families, servicemember pay and bonuses, and over 4,000 badly needed new homes, as well as the overall size of the force.
Cut at least $12.9 billion from Efforts to Restore Military Readiness: No one needs to be reminded of the tragic and fatal consequences of our military readiness crisis, or how fragile the current recovery effort is. A year-long CR will prevent the Air Force from closing the pilot shortage, cut ship maintenance in the Navy, curtail pilot training and Navy flying missions, and stall efforts in the Army and Air Force to replenish munitions stocks.
Cut at least $5.6 billion from Deterring Russia and China: America is losing our competitive edge against Russia and China. We urgently need to invest in new platforms and technologies as both adversaries work to reshape the global order for their benefit. A year-long CR would not only hamper important work in the near term, in many cases it could put America years behind Russia and China. This includes 5G and hypersonic research, extended range artillery, next generation combat vehicles, advanced helicopters and aircraft, improved night vision devices, unmanned surface vehicles, future ship designs, and artificial intelligence development.
Cut All Emergency Disaster Recovery Funding for Domestic Installations: Disaster relief efforts for military installations in Florida, North Carolina, Nebraska, and California urgently require over $4 billion so that these facilities can resume their critical national security missions. None of those funds will be available under a CR.