General Mattis is calling on Congress to stop issuing long-term continuing resolutions and to pass a budget, noting how harmful CRs are to the military:
CNN – Defense Secretary James Mattis is warning Congress that a long-term continuing resolution to fund the government will lead to irrecoverable lost training time, delayed ship maintenance and critical personnel gaps.
In a letter to defense committee leaders obtained by CNN, Mattis detailed the effects of a continuing resolution, which Congress frequently uses to keep the government funded at the previous year’s spending levels.
President Donald Trump signed a three-month CR into law last week as part of a package that included aid for Hurricane Harvey relief and a three-month extension of the debt ceiling.
But the military objects to CRs because they aren’t allowed to start new programs and are restricted in moving money between spending accounts.
“Long-term CRs impact the readiness of our forces and their equipment at a time when security threats are extraordinarily high,” Mattis wrote. “The longer the CR, the greater the consequences for our force.”
The military’s objections to a continuing resolution are nothing new, as it’s become standard for Congress to pass a CR to start the fiscal year, which begins in October, before approving a full-year appropriations bill later on.
But with the Trump administration seeking more than $50 billion in additional funding for the military compared to last year, a CR creates even more uncertainty for the Pentagon’s budget this year.
“Impacts begin immediately, within the first 30 days of a CR. By 90 days, the lost training is irrecoverable due to subsequent scheduled training events,” Mattis wrote.
Under a 90-day CR, Mattis wrote, ship maintenance for 11 Navy ships will have to be delayed, noting that “the shipyards’ capacity is not capable of ‘catching up’ lost work.” The Pentagon chief said hiring and recruiting would be curtailed under a CR, and defense contractors would be unable to begin 18 new programs for the Army.
A six-month CR — which is a possibility unless Congress can strike a budget deal — would also impact 24 more Army programs, seven Navy contracts and six Air Force programs.
There’s really no reason Congress shouldn’t be able to pass a budget and along with it tax reform, as both should both fall under reconciliation.
Of course I say that knowing full well that Congress couldn’t even repeal Obamacare earlier this year after seven years of promises.