Opinion: Congress' inability to pass a long-term budget hurts our military

(Sinclair Broadcast Group)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - Congress is back in action and averting a government shutdown has to be priority number one.

It appears likely that another continuing resolution (CR), not a long-term budget, will be put in place before the Friday deadline. This is better than shutting down the government, but it is far from ideal.

A continuing resolution allows for the federal government to run at the same funding levels as the prior year. The problem is that federal agencies – including the military - budget several years in advance. Moreover, CRs do not allow for agencies to start new programs or end existing ones which have become useless or obsolete.

Imagine if you were in charge of your family’s financial planning but were prohibited from paying for any increase in rent or mortgage or from replacing a broken dishwasher in your home with a new one.

Now apply that example to our military. Secretary of Defense James Mattis said that operating under a continuing resolution has the following results on our military:

  • Scaled-back training exercises across the services
  • The delayed induction of 11 ships by the Navy
  • The postponement of all “noncritical” maintenance work orders by the Army
  • Limiting of hiring and recruitment

Here’s the bottom line: It is the responsibility of Congress to control the power of the purse and fund the government. Congress is not supposed to simply kick the can down the road time and time again. While a continuing resolution would be better than a government shutdown, it leaves our federal agencies in a bind that is not good for the entire country in general and our safety in particular.

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