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Sullivan Urges Congress to Fund Army, Avoid Shutdown

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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Retired Army Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, president and CEO of the Association of the U.S. Army, told Congress this week that he is “disappointed” that lawmakers remain deadlocked over defense policy and funding legislation. “During the first part of this year, there was reason for optimism that Congress would return to regular order and pass the authorization and appropriations bills on time,” Sullivan wrote to congressional leaders on Sept. 14. That has not worked out, he said, as a political impasse has stopped work on funding of the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, requiring temporary funding to avoid a government shutdown. Temporary funding “would be extremely detrimental to our Army, our national security and our economy,” Sullivan wrote. Temporary funding is inefficient as a short-term solution and “increases the risk to our soldiers” if extended for a longer period “because it reduces our Army’s flexibility to respond to pressing operational needs” and also reduces the nation’s global stature by demonstrating “governmental dysfunction.” Sullivan urged Congress to avoid a government shutdown, passing a short-term funding bill if necessary to allow time to complete a “multi-year budget deal that will increase stability and efficiency in our spending.”