A group of Republican senators is urging the administration to reconsider its proposal for a year-long stopgap funding bill if current negotiations fail to reach a two-year budget deal,  adding the move would “devastate the U.S. military.”

Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) sent a letter, along with 15 of his Republican colleagues, to White House officials reiterating that a continuing resolution would lock in defense funding at the previous year’s level and create difficulties implementing the National Defense Strategy and key modernization programs.

Low angled view of the U.S. Capitol East Facade Front in Washington, DC.

“In nine of the last 10 years, the Pentagon started the fiscal year under at least a three-month CR. However, it has never operated under a CR for a full year. While some members of the Administration have suggested a yearlong CR as a viable path forward, this must be avoided,” the senators wrote. “Under these draconian conditions, the Department of Defense (DoD) would be incapable of increasing readiness, recapitalizing our force, or rationalizing funding to align with the National Defense Strategy.”

The senators’ letter, addressed to Acting OMB Director Russ Vought, Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, includes mention that CRs have proven to cause “maintenance, procurement and operating costs all to skyrocket.”

Lawmakers have worked to reach a budget deal with the administration that would raise spending caps and avoid a stopgap funding bill that would limit defense spending levels.

Senior Army officials have said a continuing resolution would affect over 100 Army programs including halting 85 new programs just as the service looks to continue its modernization overhaul (Defense Daily, May 2). 

Acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper in May, when he was then the Army Secretary, said a CR would “jeopardize momentum” that would have “catastrophic effects” on the military’s readiness. 

Perdue was joined in his letter by Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).