WASHINGTON, D.C. – Navy and Marine Corps leadership issued full-voiced warnings against extending a continuing resolution funding measure and implored Congress to pass a Fiscal Year 2017 budget with an additional supplemental funding package to shore up readiness shortfalls in the services.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson and Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller joined the Army and Air Force chiefs before the House Armed Services Committee to outline the damage a new CR could do to the military’s ability to operate in a world where potential adversaries like China and Russia increase the size and capabilities of their own military forces.
“While we talk about whether to keep ships in port and aircraft on the ground, our competitors are making steady progress, and they are gaining on us,” Richardson said in opening remarks to the panel.
“America’s risks are growing as other nations expand and operate their fleets in the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian and Arctic Oceans, as they extend their influence over trade routes that are lifeblood of the international economy – including ours.”
The House passed a $578-billion bill for FY 2017 that is awaiting a vote in the Senate. The Trump administration also called for $30 billion in supplemental funding to shore up gaps in readiness, but neither the House nor the Senate has moved to pass the supplemental.
The service chiefs were unified in imploring Congress to move both the funding bill and supplemental faster.
“Failure to pass the budget, in my view as an American citizen and the chief of staff of the United States Army, constitutes professional malpractice,” Gen. Mark Milley told the HASC.
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