After nine years of continuing resolutions to piece together the American budget, leaders of the Senate Armed Services committee wonder what its impact will be on the nation’s war fighters.
In a letter sent to Defense Secretary James Mattis Tuesday, Sens. John McCain, (R-AZ), and Jack Reed (D-RI) ask for “a concrete understanding of its impacts on the military.” The request includes a list of impacts for each military branch, defense agency, and combatant command under a potential 3-month and 6-month CR.
“Military leaders have time and again warned members of the Senate Armed Services Committee about the negative impacts of starting each fiscal year on a continuing resolution,” the letter reads.
Despite being warned by senior military leaders, the senators are realistic that Congress does not have enough time to reach an agreement on the federal budget before Oct. 1 when the fiscal year starts.
The Senate has yet to reach a deal on lifting the spending caps of $549 billion. The House passed a defense spending bill for 2018 that would fund the Pentagon at $584 billion, well above the $549 billion spending caps.
President Donald Trump announced a plan earlier this month that includes increased troops and operations in Afghanistan. The influx of American forces will require additional money for the Overseas Contingency Operations fund, which is exempt from the budget caps.