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New Short-Term Spending Bill Would Continue to Hamper the Military

Published by The Daily Signal

By Frederico Bartels

Lawmakers are discussing the possibility of passing yet another continuing resolution on Jan. 19 to keep the government from shutting down.

If another continuing resolution comes to fruition, it will be the fourth one since the fiscal year started back on Oct. 1. As of now, we have already passed more than one-quarter of the fiscal year, but the federal government has been unable to agree on appropriations allocation and has instead relied on temporary measures.

These resolutions are specially damaging to how the Department of Defense operates and defends the nation. This would come at a time when our forces are under considerable stress.

In recent years, our military has suffered substantial deterioration. As described by Heritage Foundation senior fellow Dakota Wood, “It’s too small for its workload, underfunded to repair and replace equipment that is rapidly wearing out, and ill-served by obsolescent infrastructure at its ports, bases, and airfields.”

Continuing resolutions come with a prohibition against the department starting new programs or changing the production quantity of ongoing programs. The department identified close to 75 weapons programs that suffer delays owing to the prohibition on new starts.

Furthermore, operating under a continuing resolution affects 40 programs owing to the inability to change production quantities.

As the Congressional Research Service points out, the Department of Defense “faces unique challenges operating under a [continuing resolution] while providing the military forces needed to deter war and defend the country.”

In order to address these problems, it is possible for the Defense Department to ask Congress to include specific language in the next continuing resolution—referred to as “anomalies”—to ameliorate these problems. Congress tends to prefer “clean” continuing resolutions, since anomalies start to encroach on legislative prerogatives or program oversight.

Thus, the best way to address these issues is through the appropriation of the defense budget. A defense budget based on the National Defense Authorization Act, passed with strong bipartisan support and signed by President Donald Trump on Dec. 12, is the best basis for the defense budget.

See the full story here.

January 12, 2018


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