GOP lawmakers warn of full-year CR

By Tony Bertuca / November 4, 2019 at 12:54 PM

House Republican lawmakers are warning about the damage they say a full-year continuing resolution will do to the Defense Department as Congress' overdue defense appropriations and authorization bills remain mired in partisan fights over President Trump's southern border wall.

"Every day we go without passing a DOD funding bill makes it more and more likely that our troops -- who will almost certainly be tested in the coming weeks -- will face a full-year CR, with all the damage and uncertainty these stop-gap measures inflict," according to a fact sheet released by Republicans on the House Appropriations, Armed Services and Budget committees.

The federal government since Oct. 1 has been operating under a CR that expires Nov. 21. Lawmakers say they expect to pass another CR, with some estimating it will extend federal funding into February or March.

The Pentagon has begun 13 of the 18 fiscal years under a stopgap CR, which freezes spending at previous-year levels and prohibits spending on new programs and production increases.

The GOP lawmakers note the Navy estimates it has wasted about $4 billion between 2011 and 2017.

Among other things, a full-year CR would "prohibit development of unmanned surface vessels, future ship designs, and artificial intelligence development," according to the fact sheet. "A delay of a year or more on these systems could make our troops vulnerable and erode our competitive advantage for years to come."

The Senate failed to pass a defense appropriations bill last week because Democrats refused to support Trump’s use of military funds to pay for barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Meanwhile, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) has released an emergency version of the defense authorization bill in the hopes it can be passed before the end of the year.

But Democrats say the bill will not advance until it addresses Trump’s unilateral reprogramming of defense money to fund the wall.