USA — Gates Urges Congress to Pass Omnibus Appropriation Bill

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)

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