Pentagon explains how government shutdown would impact defense
Efforts to approve military and government funding are at a stand still in Congress. The House twice failed to approve the rules for debate on a bill to fund the military, they didn’t even get to the final vote.
A small group of the chamber’s most conservative Republicans banned together to prevent approval of the rules of debate, which is a step taken before lawmakers publicly debate the bill on the floor before a final vote.
“This is a whole new concept of individuals that just want to burn the whole place down. It doesn’t work,” Speaker Kevin McCArthy, R-Calif., told reporters.
The Pentagon does not insert itself into politics. Military and civilian officials don’t like to comment on ongoing negotiations. But they aren’t afraid to explain how a government shutdown or continuing resolution will impact them.
‘Many of us have been through shutdowns. They are extremely damaging to our readiness, retention and morale,” Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said during the Air, Space & Cyber Conference.
Kendall said he had a request for Congress.
“Do not put us under a continuing resolution for the first quarter of the fiscal year. Now the ship may have sailed on this request, but CRs of any length are hugely inefficient and delay much needed modernization.”
Secretary Kendall said the military could manage a short term CR, but anything beyond December will do serious damage to national security.
“CRs are just short-term, essentially band-aid solutions. They don’t allow us to start up new programs, they keep funding levels the same. So it’s never a good thing to continue operating under a CR. We hope that’s not the case. We’ve done it before,” Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said. “If there is a shutdown, we will take the proper measures in order to ensure that, you know, we can keep operating, we can still ensure our readiness, that our national security interests are still protected and intact.”
The 2024 spending bill is worth $826.5 billion. It includes a 5% pay raise for the troops and money to build next generation aircraft, tactical combat vehicles and submarines.