Damaging Defense: Thornberry on New CR

Nov 13, 2019
Defense Drumbeat
Debilitiating Impacts of CR Widely Reported

WASHINGTON- Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following statement on reports that an additional Continuing Resolution will extend until December 20th:

“Reports that the next stop-gap spending bill will extend until December 20th are disappointing and troubling. Such a late date makes a further stopgap beyond the 20th more likely. Every CR is wasteful and damages the ability of our military to carry out their vital missions. There is no excuse for this dysfunction. The compromise signed into law in July determined how much would be spent on defense this year, yet four months later nothing has happened. Congress needs to put aside other considerations, put the troops ahead of politics, and get it done now.”

The Impacts of long-term Continuing Resolutions are clear. Here is just some of the damage that has been reported:

“Debilitating”: “As the Pentagon works to maintain its competitive advantage over Russia and China, partisan gridlock on Capitol Hill could jeopardize its modernization efforts…‘A CR top-to-bottom is debilitating," chief Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said on Thursday, adding, "We lose buying power. We lose predictability with our contracting. We lose our ability to train exercises."…
 Stopgap spending bill will harm military readiness, modernization efforts: Pentagon
For The Navy a CR Means Canceled Training, Deferred Ship Repairs, and Fewer Ships at Sea“In the Navy, an extended CR risks the delay of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis returning to the fleet following refueling and upgrades. Additionally, training that sailors perform while at sea would be canceled, and ship maintenance periods would be deferred, Navy spokesperson Lt. Timothy Pietrack told ABC News…” 
 Stopgap spending bill will harm military readiness, modernization efforts: Pentagon
For Army CR “Knocks The Wheel Completely Off And Sets It On Fire”: “And for the Army, a continued delay in funding doesn't just throw a wrench in the wheel — it knocks the wheel completely off and sets it on fire…If there is a yearlong CR, the Army's breakdown says, there could be a $597 million reduction in active-duty and reserve entitlements — meaning salaries, housing allowances, bonuses, and more. ’The impact slows accessions and hampers recruiting and retention incentives,’ the Army document says. ‘Maintaining a competitive overall compensation package ensures the long-term viability of the all-volunteer force.’ A yearlong CR would also prevent a $132 million award of 4,400 new living quarters, both for families and single soldiers; delay maintenance of up to 269 Army family housing units; and more. This directly targets what Army leaders have said is their priority: People.” 
Political squabbling over the defense budget may screw you out of your hard-earned benefits 
CR Slows Army Efforts To Take On China And Russia: “To arm America’s soldiers with the capabilities they will need to confront China’s increasingly formidable military, the U.S. Army is undertaking its most comprehensive and ambitious reform in decades. Sadly, however, congressional dysfunction now presents a major obstacle to ensuring that America’s soldiers can prevail in a future great power conflict…The Army has worked overtime to identify dozens of older weapons and systems to cut in order to create budget space for 31 top modernization priorities. As a result, for the fiscal year that started last month, the Army needs Congressional approval and funding for an unusually important array of new programs…” 
Dysfunctional Congress could leave soldiers behind 
“Plague Readiness”: "’A day-to-day slip for a budget deal risks putting our service in a situation where we cannot recover from the effects of a continuing resolution,’ Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said in a statement to ABC News. ‘Each day that passes has the potential to severely impact and plague readiness at the individual and collective training level.’… ‘Without an approved budget, we are unable to build 4,400 new homes and will be forced to delay the repair of another 269 homes,’ McCarthy said…” 
Stopgap spending bill will harm military readiness, modernization efforts: Pentagon 
Aging Jets Will Stay in the Force Longer Than Planned: “’It’s truly damaging for all the services, and certainly the United States Air Force,’ Goldfein said… ‘Even if a CR only lasts for six months, the effects would be significant,’ he said… It would also force the Air Force to keep flying F-15Cs for longer than it expected, resulting in further cost increases due to the extensive maintenance needed to keep the aging fighters, plagued by structural health issues, in the air…” 
Fewer airmen, fewer bombs and delayed F-15s: Goldfein outlines effects of continuing resolution 
Air Force Can’t Re-Arm or Close the Pilot Shortage: “A six-month CR would also hit the Air Force’s effort to re-arm. It would reduce munitions procurement by 1,000 tailkits to convert unguided bombs into guided Joint Direct Attack Munitions, as well as cut 99 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles and 665 Small Diameter Bomb II munitions….It would also scuttle the Air Force’s plans to grow its total force end strength by 4,400, he said, which would hurt its efforts to grow vital — and undermanned — career fields such as operations, maintenance, space, cyber, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Efforts to fix the pilot shortfall would take a hit, cutting $123 million from undergraduate flight training, Goldfein said. This would mean contractor instructor pilots would be reduced, a new maintenance training center’s opening would be delayed, and trainer fleet maintenance would be delayed…” 
Fewer airmen, fewer bombs and delayed F-15s: Goldfein outlines effects of continuing resolution 

116th Congress