Washington, DC – Today, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA), along with Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA), Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), and Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) of the House Democratic Caucus National Security Task Force, made the following statement about funding for the U.S. government:
“For months now, our Republican colleagues have emphasized how devastating it is to the U.S. military when Congress funds the government using a series of short-term continuing resolutions (CRs). That assessment is absolutely correct. Without a budget deal, real appropriations bills, and relief from the Budget Control Act, the Defense Department does not have the predictability that it needs to support our men and women in uniform. On our Armed Services Committee, the defense hawks who made these exact points when opposing a continuing resolution in September 2017 should join us now and oppose additional reliance on CRs for the same reasons.
“As Secretary Mattis, Chairman Dunford, and the secretaries of the armed services have pointed out, relying on continuing resolutions wrecks attempts at long-term planning, forces the cancellation of training exercises, delays maintenance, prevents the beginning of new defense programs, demoralizes our service members, wastes taxpayer money, and undermines our ability to project power and defend our allies worldwide.
“That is why it is important that we take a stand and force a genuine, comprehensive appropriations deal now—one that covers both defense and nondefense discretionary funding—rather than persist in relying on continuing resolutions. Ultimately, it would be better for our national security for Congress to fund the government for the long term rather than to keep kicking the can down the road to the point where the Defense Department winds up with a CR for the entire year.”
National security officials on the impact of continuing resolutions:
“We cannot start new programs … It just creates unpredictability. It makes us rigid. We cannot deal with new and revealing threats. We know our enemies are not standing still. … So it's about as unwise as can be.”
--Secretary of Defense James Mattis
“Without sustained, sufficient, and predictable funding I assess that within 5 years we will lose our ability to project power; the basis of how we defend the homeland, advance U.S. interests, and meet our alliance commitments.”
--Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Joseph Dunford
“We have put $4 billion in a trash can, poured lighter fluid on it, and burned it. … Four billion is enough to buy a squadron of F-35s, two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, 3,000 Harpoon missiles. It’s enough money to buy us additional capacity that we need. Instead, it’s lost, because of inefficacy in the ways of the continuing resolution.”
--Navy Secretary Richard Spencer
“The lack of stability represents one of the single biggest strategic risks to our enterprise at DoD … It undercuts stable planning and the efficient use of taxpayer dollars, often in ways taxpayers can’t even see. It baffles our friends and emboldens our foes. It’s managerially and strategically unsound, and it’s unfairly dispiriting to our troops, to their families and our workforce. It’s inefficient for our defense industry partners too.”
--Former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter