Joint Association Letter Pushes for Defense Budget

Joint Association Letter Pushes for Defense Budget

US Capitol
Photo by: Architect of the Capitol

The Association of the U.S. Army, joined by five other military associations, is urging Congress to approve a timely and adequate defense budget to enable the Army and joint force to respond to growing threats and demands at home and around the world.

“As you know, our nation faces many threats, including Chinese aggression in the Pacific, responding to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the current crisis in the Middle East, North Korean malign activities, the continued threat of terrorism, and domestic emergencies like floods and wildfires—which makes timely and sufficient appropriations critical,” the associations say in the Jan. 5 letter to the top four leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

“If another continuing resolution (CR) is required to avert a damaging government shutdown, it should be a short one,” the letter states.

Continuing resolutions are stopgap measures that allow federal programs to continue at current spending levels. The military and the rest of the federal government have been operating under stopgap funding since the Oct. 1 start of fiscal 2024. Current funding expires Jan. 19 for some agencies and Feb. 2 for others including the Pentagon.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth and other senior leaders have warned in letters to key lawmakers of the “devastating impacts” of a yearlong continuing resolution—something neither DoD nor the Army has ever operated under.

In addition to impacts to readiness, training and quality of life programs for troops and their families, a continuing resolution also would negatively impact the Army’s modernization efforts. “CRs do not permit the Armed Forces to make new starts or increase the level of investment in modernization and other priorities,” says the letter signed by retired Gen. Bob Brown, AUSA president and CEO.

Brown is joined by Daniel Reilly, president of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States; Stuart Bradin, president and CEO of the Global Special Operations Forces Foundation; retired Brig. Gen. J. Roy Robinson, president of the National Guard Association of the United States; retired Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Phillips, executive director of the Reserve Organization of America; and Cara Rinkoff, national executive director of the U.S. Army Warrant Officer Association.

“We believe that a strong national defense begins at home, and our service members, their families and the Armed Forces benefit from appropriate domestic spending,” the letter states. “For example, whether providing certain health care and services to veterans, investing in the industrial base, educating the next generation of service members and scientists, making important investments in public safety, or improving infrastructure to move goods and provide services—our national security and competitiveness are underpinned by domestic spending, too.”

Proper funding will provide “the predictability and resources commensurate with the demonstrated need and the urgency that our national security challenges require, and our veterans have earned,” the letter says.

Read the letter here.