Vice Chairman Makes Case for Congress to Pass Defense Budget
ARLINGTON, Va. --
Speaking at an Air Force
Association breakfast here today, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff expressed his desire for Congress to approve the proposed Defense
Department budget and to not require the department to be funded through a
Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva
told breakfast attendees this is the ninth year that the department has
operated under a continuing resolution. The current continuing resolution runs
out on April 28.
“This is the longest period
in American history where the Congress has been unable to deliver a budget on
schedule,” Selva said. “We’ve had the longest period in American history where
we have not complied with constitutional budget order and we have the first
administration in the history of the United States that has transitioned under
a continuing resolution.”
He said the congressional
authorizing committees have done their jobs -- they have passed legislation
giving the Defense Department the authorizations to recruit more members, buy
more equipment, fund more operations or build more capacity. But the appropriations
committees -- the committees that actually put dollars to capabilities -- have
“If the appropriators do not
fund the aspirational statements in the Authorization Act, they cannot become
reality,” Selva said. Extending the current continuing resolution does not help
much, he added, because it funds the department at last year’s levels.
Continuing resolutions are “destructive
to the way we do business” at DoD, the general said.
Operating under continuing
resolutions, he added, compels DoD to spend money on things it doesn’t need and
prevents it from spending money on things it does need.
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