Army warns stopgap measure will put 47 programs on hold

Army warns stopgap measure will put 47 programs on hold
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Army officials are warning Congress that 47 programs would be put on hold if lawmakers approve a continuing resolution that keeps current funding levels in place for the rest of the year.

Those programs include a new mounted gun for Stryker combat vehicles as well as cyber and electronic warfare efforts, the officials said in a document submitted to Congress.

Payments to military academy cadets would be halted, and there would be a hold on starting new weapon programs or modernizing existing equipment.


The Pentagon is currently funded under a continuing resolution (CR) that expires April 28. Congress has eight legislative days to reach a deal on a new funding measure that could last through the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30.

The White House requested $30 billion more for this fiscal year for defense needs, as well as $3 billion for a border wall and other homeland security operations.

But congressional leaders have already expressed an unwillingness to pass President Trump's request, punting it to later in the year and using another CR instead.

Republican Sens. John McCain (Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) are rejecting such a plan and said last week they'd refuse to vote for a CR of any duration.

If the current measure is extended, Army leaders say, the service would lose out on $3 billion it planned for and “current readiness would be severely impacted.”

Ammunition shipments in support of institutional training will stop in July; the Army will be forced to cancel several European exercises and engagements; and all but one actively deployed ground unit will cease training after July 15, the document states.

The document also points out that “47 procurement and new start programs in FY17 have been placed on hold pending an appropriation. ... This will cause operational delays to future initiatives and delay crucial research to modernize legacy systems.”

Among the delayed programs are the Stryker Enhanced Lethality Program, Persistent Threat Environment and Multi-Function Electronic Warfare, and air and missile defense capabilities.

And another 84 planned increases in funding or production would have to be reevaluated “in order to realign internally with the funding that is available, causing operational delays in procurement and research across the Army and to specific initiatives, like the European Reassurance Initiative.”

The Navy and Air Force sent similar documents to Congress.

All three reports will likely come up later this week when the chiefs of each military branch testify before the House Armed Services Committee on the effects of a continuing resolution.