WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2010 — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today urged Congress to approve an omnibus appropriation bill rather than requiring the Defense Department to operate under a year-long continuing resolution.
“To do otherwise would leave the department without the resources and flexibility needed to meet vital military requirements,” Gates said in a written statement released by Pentagon officials. “The proposed continuing resolution would cut defense funding by about $19 billion, but would not reduce or eliminate any of the additional bills we must pay in the coming year.
“We will need to cover the military pay raise, increases in military health care costs, higher fuel prices, and other ‘fact of life’ bills,” the secretary continued. “None of these additional costs are covered by a continuing resolution.”
An omnibus appropriation would allow Pentagon officials to pursue critical national security initiatives such as standing up the new Cyber Command, increasing special operations forces, and funding family support improvements, including efforts to upgrade Department of Defense schools, Gates said. “And the heavy volume of reprogrammings needed to manage the vast and complex operations of this department under a year-long continuing resolution would slow our efforts to meet unanticipated wartime needs,” he added.
“I urge the Congress to take these concerns into account and enact a full defense appropriations bill as part of an omnibus appropriations bill,” Gates said.
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)