Pentagon Concerned by Budget Delays

Pentagon Concerned by Budget Delays

The Pentagon
Photo by: U.S. Army/Sgt. 1st Class Marisol Walker

Exercises and training, as well as hundreds of new programs and projects, will be disrupted or on hold if the military is forced to continue operating without a fiscal 2023 budget, officials said.

“Spending will be limited to last year’s levels and priorities, imposing significant fiscal and managerial constraints on the Department,” Pentagon spokesman Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a statement. 

Fiscal 2023 began Oct. 1, but the military and the rest of the federal government have been operating under a stopgap measure that expires Dec. 16. Known as a continuing resolution, the measure allows federal program to continue at current spending levels and prohibits the start of new programs.

In late November, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin urged lawmakers to pass a full-year budget, warning in a letter to congressional leaders that “failure to do so will result in significant harm to our people and our programs.”

According to Ryder, under a full year continuing resolution, 192 new procurement and research and development programs and projects cannot be started. Production rates for 49 programs, including weapons, equipment and munitions, cannot be increased, and 97 military construction projects cannot be started, he said.

Temporary funding also disrupts major exercises and training events, affects readiness and maintenance, curtails hiring and recruitment actions and impacts contracting negotiations, Ryder said.

It also will delay new technology development, including multiple rapid prototyping programs, and impact contract awards, Ryder said. Among the contracts impacted are awards for the Army’s Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle, its Joint Air-to Ground Missile program and the Patriot Missile Segment Enhancement Missiles.

“The CR costs us time as well as money, and money can’t buy back time, especially for lost training events,” Austin wrote in his letter to lawmakers. “Under the CR, Congress prohibits the military from commencing new initiatives, such as those requested by our theater commanders in the Indo-Pacific and around the world or in support of Service members and their families at home.”