Mattis: Government Shutdown Would Have ‘Terrible Impact’ on Military

• January 19, 2018 11:23 am


Defense Secretary James Mattis said Friday that a government shutdown would have a "terrible impact" on the military, which he said deserved the full support of the nation.

The government appears to be on the verge of a shutdown with Republicans and Democrats at an impasse over its funding amid a larger debate about the DACA program.

Asked if a shutdown would have serious ramifications on military operations after he made remarks about national security strategy in Washington, Mattis flatly responded, "Yes."

Mattis said a number of operations would be disrupted by a shutdown, and 50 percent of his civilian workforce would be furloughed.

"That's going to impact our contracting. It'll impact obviously our medical facilities," Mattis said. "It's got a huge morale impact. How long can you keep good people around when something like this happens?"

President Donald Trump remarked Thursday that a shutdown would hurt the military most of all.

Mattis added that intelligence operations would stop, and training for the entire reserve force would also cease.

"You must understand the critical importance of our reserves. They're the only shock absorber we have," he said. "It's got a terrible impact."

"The value of the American military is grossly enhanced by the sense of the American model of government, of the people, by the people, for the people, can function and carry out its governmental responsibilities," he said.

Mattis, a retired general, said he didn't just serve in the Marine Corps but the "U.S." Marine Corps, and the military was accountable to the people and deserved its support.

"I just tell you that they deserve full support, and we have got to come to grips with this as a nation," he said.