Pentagon Urges Congress to Fully Fund Military: Short-Term Funding Is 'Wasteful'

February 1, 2018

Department of Defense chief spokesperson Dana W. White urged Congress on Thursday to fully fund America's military and not pass another temporary continuing resolution.

A reporter asked White about Secretary of Defense James Mattis' conversations with lawmakers since the current continuing resolution, or CR, only funds the military through Feb. 8.

White said she was optimistic Congress could pass legislation that would keep the military funded throughout the current fiscal year.

"The secretary has outlined, as he has in testimony, that continuing resolutions are no way to run the military," White said. "It's a lot of uncertainty, it's wasteful–three weeks at a time, a month at a time, six weeks at a time–it's wasteful. Our goal is to maximize every dollar that's entrusted to us. We can't do that on a continuing resolution."

"So, the secretary's message was ‘pass a fully funded Fiscal Year '18 budget,’" White said.

The Pentagon has been saying for years that America's military readiness may be jeopardized due to lack of funding, especially when it comes to maintenance.

Mattis has been meeting with both Democrats and Republicans to request the funding, and again voiced his recommendation during a Thursday morning meeting. While talking to Republican lawmakers at an annual retreat, the defense secretary said the administration needs to approve $716 billion for defense in the 2019 fiscal year, about $50 billion more than President Donald Trump’s 2018 defense budget request.

"I’m not subtle. I need to make the military more lethal," Mattis said.