Members of Congress in general and the House Armed Services Committee in particular were recent victims of a Mad Dog attack that took place on February 6. Appearing before the Committee to discuss the Nuclear Posture Review and the new National Defense Strategy review he had composed, Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis blasted Congress for neglecting their duties.
Mattis noted dourly that on the very day that the first review of America’s national security in a decade was released, Congress shut down the government and is now operating under a “disruptive continuing resolution”. With another shutdown possibly in the works, Mattis saw little point in engaging in fantasies, reported Military.com.
“It is not lost on me that as I testify before you this morning,” Mattis stated, “we are again on the verge of a government shutdown or, at best, another damaging continuing resolution.”
“I regret that without sustained, predictable appropriations, my presence here today wastes your time, because no strategy can survive without the funding necessary to resource it. We all know America can afford survival.”
— The Hill (@thehill) February 6, 2018
Without an approved budget, Mattis explained how a cessation in the government’s operation would deny pay for the men and women in the Armed Services, cause personnel shortages, force many naval vessels to remain in port, limit aircraft operations, cause a cut to much needed ammunition and training and put a halt to the modernizing of American forces.
Sec Mattis rightly takes Congress to the woodshed for not passing a budget for defense. “I regret that w/o sustained, predictable appropriations, my presence here today wastes your time…I cannot care more about our country’s defense than this Congress.” @HASCRepublicans pic.twitter.com/FsC0DnHmoN
— Rep. Vicky Hartzler (@RepHartzler) February 6, 2018
Mattis claimed that the three general goals of his Defense Department include the building of a more lethal fighting force, solidifying alliances and pursuing others and streamlining the ‘business practices’ of the Pentagon. All three of these to varying degrees would be impacted by a shutdown or a continuing resolution.
“To carry out the strategy you rightly directed we develop, we need you to pass a budget now,” implored Mattis, “If we are to sustain our military’s primacy, we need budget predictability. I know many want to avoid additional spending, but Congress must take action now to ensure our military lethality is sufficient to defend our way of life, preserve the prosperity our country enjoys, and pass on the freedoms we enjoy to the next generation. I ask that you not let disagreements on domestic policy continue to hold our Nation’s defense hostage.”
What do you think? Was Mattis right to be angered at Congress’ budgetary negligence?
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