SecDef: Budget Process Threat to Nation’s Survival

Washington Report

(September 26, 2017) Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the reliance by Congress on continuing resolutions instead of on-time budgets put the nation’s survival at risk.

Presenting a keynote address last week at the annual Air Force Association conference outside Washington, D.C., Mattis said, “If we don’t get budget predictability, if we don’t remove the defense caps, then we’re questioning whether or not America has the ability to survive. It’s that simple.”

Defense News, which reported on his speech, pointed out that the current continuing resolution, which ends in early December, is the 30th CR of the last 10 years. They have forced the government to rely on the previous years’ spending levels for a total of 1,000 days.

The spending caps known as sequestration are a result of the Budget Control Act of 2011 that limits the amount of spending across the entire federal government, for programs large and small, important and insignificant.

Mattis is tired of it all.

“Despite the casualties, the loss of our wonderful, beautiful young troops, thousands of them over the last 16-odd years of combat,” he said, “nothing has done more damage to the readiness of our armed forces than the continuing resolutions that stop us from taking initiative, than the lack of budgetary predictability.”