Service Leaders Sound Alarms over Long-Term Stopgap

Service Leaders Sound Alarms over Long-Term Stopgap

The military services are stepping up their warnings about what would happen if Congress continues forcing DOD to operate at its current budget levels for the rest of the fiscal year.

The Air Force has outlined which “capabilities cannot be realized without an authorization and appropriation bill for FY20” in a fact sheet, which Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein discussed in remarks this week to the Air Force Association.

Navy leaders have said a long-term CR would leave a $5.9 billion hole in the shipbuilding budget and a $1 billion deficit for aircraft procurement, Inside Defense reported. The Army would be unable to start 46 new military construction projects, among other setbacks, Defense News reported.

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, said in a Dallas Morning-News op-ed that “every day under a CR damages our military and undermines the recent fragile progress of repairing and rebuilding it.”

But some observers say it’s not yet time to worry about a full-year CR.

“We should instead be talking about what the impact of a 3-month or 6-month CR would be, because that may very well happen,” said Todd Harrison, a defense policy analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, according to Breaking Defense.

The current CR expires Nov. 21. As On Base has reported, ppropriators have said they hope to pass another CR into December to try to work out differences on all 12 appropriations bills and are holding a bipartisan, bicameral meeting Tuesday to resume talks.

Air Force photo of David Goldfein by Tech. Sgt. Ashley Hyatt

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