NDIA calls on Congress to end ‘unaffordable’ continuing resolutions to fund defense


ARLINGTON, VA – Calling it “unaffordable” – in military capability and service member lives – to run U.S. defense under repeated continuing resolutions, officials of the National Defense Industrial Association urged top members of Congress to stop this practice and make full funding a regular course of business.

In their Dec. 3 letters, Hawk Carlisle, NDIA’s president and CEO, and Mary Lockhart, chair of the organization’s small-business division, shared concerns over the delayed National Defense Authorization Act, multiple continuing resolutions and the looming possibility of yet another as the current one expires Dec. 21. Letters were sent to leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees and Appropriations subcommittees on defense, respectively.

Citing their respective military careers, Carlisle and Lockhart said without modernization, “we risk the lives of those who swore an oath to serve this nation.”

“The only way to be successful on the battlefield without proper training systems and weapons is at the cost of high casualties,” they said.

Key points of the letters include:

  • The Defense Department has started 13 of the last 18 years under continuing resolutions. This slows down new projects and modernization and weakens U.S. defense. Comparatively, U.S. adversaries do not have such funding issues and, therefore, no gaps in growth or technology advancement. This has made for large differences in areas such as cybersecurity, hypersonics and other advancements.
  • With new starts on hold, the defense industrial base slows down, effecting workers and the bottom line. This is particularly hard on small businesses, which must make hard choices about keeping workers on board with no funding coming in. Ultimately, more and more businesses decide not to work in defense.
  • Military services must perform their duties regardless of the stopgap measure, including adapting to the advanced capabilities of U.S. adversaries. All services have put major weapons systems on hold, as well as base upgrades, which affect morale and quality of life, particularly for military families.
  • It is virtually impossible to make up for the lost time and funding under a continuing resolution, which puts U.S. defenses further and further behind on readiness and capability.

A full copy of the letter sent to the Senate Armed Services Committee can be found here. For more information or to speak to an NDIA policy team member about this topic, contact Communications Director Evamarie Socha at (703) 472-3806 or esocha@ndia.org.


About NDIA

The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) is America's leading defense industry association promoting national security. NDIA provides a legal and ethical forum for the exchange of information between industry and government on national security issues. NDIA and its members foster the development of the most innovative and superior equipment, training, and support for warfighters and first responders through its divisions, local chapters, affiliated associations, and events. For more information, visit NDIA.org