Military

12 Defense Groups Warn Against US Government Shutdown in Letter to Congress

By S.L. Fuller | September 8, 2017

November 9, 2007 - A Utah National Guard Soldier and 19th Special Forces member are lifted on board an HH-60 Pave Hawk during a combat search and rescue integration exercise over the Utah Test and Training Range. Members of the 34th Weapons Squadron from Nellis Air Force Base led the search and recovery training. The exercise expanded the integration with Utah's 211th Aviation Group AH-64 Apache Joint Rotary Wing, 4th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon assets from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and special operations forces. Exercise participants also conducted extensive joint combat search and rescue operations against surface-to-air threats. The exercise is being run held November 6 through 15.

Image courtesy of the U.S. Defense Dept.

Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) said that 12 defense-related associations have written a letter to U.S. Congress, urging it to complete fiscal year 2018 authorization and appropriations measures.

In the letter, AIA said, consequences of the last government shutdown were noted. This includes programs and services that were compromised, and the $24 billion loss suffered by the economy.

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“These damaging effects are set to play out again if Congress does not reach agreement to continue government funding,” the letter reads. “We hope you and your colleagues will act swiftly to avoid any threat of government shutdown, a default, or other unnecessary delays that disrupt both industry markets and the proper functioning of the federal government.”

AIA said the letter was sent to the Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate. Twelve defense-related associations, covering the entire breadth of the aerospace and defense industry, joined in a letter to the House and Senate Leaders in both parties, asking them to act quickly to fund the government and address the debt ceiling in order to prevent a federal shutdown or a default and address looming significant national security readiness challenges.

The Pentagon’s comptroller and CFO, David Norquist, recently spoke against continuing resolutions during the 2017 Defense News Conference. Defense News said that Norquist called continuing resolutions have “administrative costs that are wasteful and readiness and operational costs that are unrecoverable.” The report said that Norquist, however, remained hopeful that Congress would find a solution.

“You may wonder whether I think stable, robust funding — in the current environment — is achievable. It’s a fair question,” he said, according to Defense News. “I am, quite honestly, optimistic. I believe the stakes are high, the parameters clear and our legislators, like the rest of us, have lived under the sword of sequestration for too long. I know the Congress will find a solution, and I remain hopeful that it will be soon.”

Click here to view the letter to Congress.

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