The government is funded on a yearly basis, however, continued resolutions (CR’s) are often used instead of having a single budget for the entire year.
U.S. Representative Trent Kelly said that using CR’s is detrimental to the U.S. Military.
“You can’t buy repair parts, replacement parts, you can’t get new equipment, you can’t upgrade facilities,” said Kelly. “I think there’s 37 military facilities in the army that aren’t going to be upgraded based on CR’s, they have to wait for the full thing, and acquisitions.”
Kelly added that Navy ships are having to stay in port to wait for maintenance rather than be out and this creates gaps in our defense.
“You can’t be on a yearly budget if you only know what you’re going to make for the next 90 days,” said Kelly. “These CR’s, what they do is, they put our military in a position where they have to fore cast 90 days out and then another 90 days. You can’t spend your money well when you’re doing it in 90 day increments.”
Representative Kelly said that he wants to change this and says that it begins with highlighting the issue.
“It’s hard to go back and explain to your people that you didn’t vote to fund the military when you know the costs that are associated with it,” said Kelly.
He said that many officials in Washington say that the CR’s are the most difficult thing that they have to deal with.
“What we would rather do is know we’ve got a full year and know, ‘this is what you’re going to get’, so even though it’s a lesser amount, when you know what it is, is better because you can forecast and spend in the right way,” said Kelly.
Kelly also gave the example of buying in bulk versus buying a single item.
“F35s are very expensive planes,” said Kelly. They are the greatest plane in the world. If we buy one of those it may cost 25 billion dollars, but if we buy 10, we can get them for 8 billion a piece. So, 10 is 80 billion, or 1 is 25 billion. You can either buy 8 [planes] or 3 [planes] depending on how you do it.”
Kelly said that in the next few weeks there will be a full appropriations bill that will address these issues. He added that he hopes they will be able to fund it for at least 10 and a half or even 11 months.
“These CR’s are killing us,” said Kelly. “They just kick the can and say, ‘we are going to do a temporary hold,’ but it doesn’t buy you any new stuff, it doesn’t allow you to do any new programs or to forecast anything. It only takes care of the immediate needs, the bare necessities and we’ve got to quit doing that.”