The stop-gap spending bill passed by lawmakers after, once again, failing to reach a budget deal will delay a range of defense weapons programs, including the Littoral Combat Ship, A-10 Thunderbolt II and the Ohio-class submarine replacement.
The 10-week continuing resolution approved by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama this week to avoid a Sept. 30 government shutdown just before the elections had already been labeled as “deplorable” by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.
He told the Senate Armed Services Committee this month that the short-term CR, which continues spending at fiscal 2016 levels, would limit the Pentagon’s ability to “maintain our military’s technological edge and counter some of the most vexing threats we face.”
Last month, Pentagon Comptroller Mike McCord gave the Congressional Research Service a list of new start programs that would be put on hold under the 10-week CR.
The list included an Anti-Surface Warfare Module for the LCS; replacement wings and depot maintenance for the A-10s; the E-4B National Airborne Operations Center aircraft; the B-52 radar modernization program; and the Columbia-class replacement for the Ohio-class ballistic submarines.
In addition, the CR would delay planned production and spending increases for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle; the KC-46A aerial refueling aircraft; the Joint Strike Fighter F-35B; the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye; the Joint Direct Attack Munition; the AGM-114 Hellfire missile Standard Missile; and the European Reassurance Initiative to bolster NATO.
The research service noted that Congress has failed to pass a budget and relied on stopgap spending bills for 12 of the past 17 years, including every year since fiscal 2010.
In a statement, the White House said that the CR “would allow critical government functions to operate without interruption” for the next 10 weeks and urged Congress to “act quickly” on a full-year budget for fiscal 2017, which begins Oct. 1.