Defense Secretary Ash Carter is urgently pressing lawmakers not to adopt a long-term continuing resolution, warning that forcing the Pentagon to live under budget restrictions for the long term prohibit it from conducting its business and fight its wars. Lawmakers are considering a long-term continuing resolution that would last until May, a move Carter found “particularly” troubling, Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said in a Tuesday briefing. Carter, in his letter, wrote this means the department would operate under tight budget constraints through two-thirds of the fiscal year. “A CR is bad enough,” Cook said, and a long-term one is “not an efficient way to conduct the department’s business.” Carter sent the letter, and the Pentagon announced it from the press room podium on Tuesday, because “time was of the essence” as Congress looks to pass the continuing resolution in the lame duck session.
Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said in August that a long-term CR would stop 60 new starts and delay upgrades to aircraft such as the M-9 Reaper, B-2 and B-52 bombers, among others. The Pentagon on Monday urged lawmakers to provide funding in a continuing resolution for important programs such as the KC-46 tanker and to replenish the dwindling amount of weapons in use in Iraq and Syria.