Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin sent a letter to House and Senate leaders pushing for them to pass a full-year funding bill before the year ends. In the letter, which was sent on Monday, Austin talked about the threat of extending a continuing resolution (CR) that would fund the Defense Department till 2023. The current CR is set to expire on Dec. 16.
Austin’s letter was predominantly addressed to Democrat leaders, but Republican leaders were also copied on the letters that urged Congress to pass a whole government funding bill in 2022.
He added that should Congress fail to do so, the harm would be felt both by Americans and by the country’s national security and competitiveness which would be harmed as many programs would not be funded. He continued by writing that the CR is costly in both time and money.
But money and time were not the only things lost, since under the CR the military has lost training events, and has been prohibited from starting new initiatives that would support service members and their families.
Austin urged lawmakers to “break this pattern of extensive inaction,” as they are not able to compete with China when they are blocked for three to six months every fiscal year.
According to the Politico report, the letters were sent to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.