WASHINGTON - Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) of the House Armed Services Committee placed the following statement in the record, offering his reasons for voting against the Continuing Resolution:
I support providing immediate emergency assistance for those affected by recent natural disasters and was glad to vote for such a bill earlier this week. I believe that raising the debt limit for only three months is a mistake because it does not provide the certainty that financial markets and our economy need.
But most concerning to me, and the reason I am voting against this bill, is that it forces our military to operate under a stopgap continuing resolution -- once again.
Continuing resolutions do enormous, lasting damage to the American military. We are witnessing an alarming increase in accidents, growing evidence of a force under stress, and an eroding technological position when compared with our adversaries. Not only does this bill fail to remedy those problems, it makes them worse.
This bill, like other CRs, allows no new starts -- the Pentagon must spend the same money on the same things as last year. But the world is not standing still. In fact, the threats from North Korea and others grow every day. Yet, this CR prevents us from responding.
The Constitution places on Congress the responsibility to “raise and support”, “provide and maintain” the military forces of the United States. It is morally wrong for our nation to send brave men and women out on mission -- even routine training or operations -- without the very best equipment, the very best training, the very best support our country can provide. The dysfunction in the budget process has meant that we have not provided them with the best and that we have not been meeting our responsibilities. This bill is more of the same.
There is plenty of blame to go around between both parties and both the Executive and Legislative branches of government. But this negligence must stop. We must fulfill our duty. We must do better.