Defense Chief Warns That Short-Term Bills Hurt National Security as Funding Deadline Looms
Should Congress stop relying on short-term CRs to provide funding certainty for the military?
With the federal government lurching toward a potential government shutdown next Friday, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper took to Twitter to warn lawmakers that their reliance on short-term continuing resolutions (CRs) undermines the military’s readiness and national security:
The federal government is funded through Thursday, November 21st, and the House is expected to vote on another short-term CR this week ― although the bill hasn’t been introduced yet.
In late September, Congress passed a seven-week CR to extend funding to November 21st to prevent a partial government at the outset of fiscal year 2020. While the last CR passed Congress on bipartisan votes of 301-123 in the House and 82-15 in the Senate and the upcoming CR may follow suit, finding the necessary bipartisan compromise on funding for the rest of FY2020 will be harder to come by.
On Halloween, the Senate voted 84-9 to send a $206 billion “minibus” appropriations package that would fund roughly one-third of the federal non-defense discretionary budget over to the House, where Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) said “it doesn’t do the job.” Senate Democrats also blocked another minibus funding package that would provide FY2020 defense spending on a 51-41 procedural vote.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: The U.S. Army via Flickr / Creative Commons)
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