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Navy Squanders Billions While Congreess Fiddles

Natalie Johnson of the Washington Free Beacon reported today the "U.S. Navy Squandered $4 Billion Due to Congressional Failure to Pass Budget," saying that taxpayer money is lost "due to inefficiencies caused by continuing resolutions."

Specifically, she reports:

"The U.S. Navy has wasted roughly $4 billion in taxpayer money over the past six years due to the repeated failure by Congress to pass a budget that fully funds the military, the secretary of the service said Monday.

"Since 2011, we have put $4 billion in a trashcan, poured lighter fluid on top of it, and burned it," Sec. Richard Spencer said in remarks at the U.S. Naval Institute's Defense Forum in Washington.

"It's enough money that it can buy us the additional capacity and capability that we need. Instead, that $4 billion of taxpayer money has been lost because of inefficiencies [caused by] continuing resolutions," he added.

"Spencer said the Navy could have otherwise used the wasted funds to purchase a squadron of F-35 fighter jets, two Arleigh-Burke-class destroyers, 3,000 harpoon missiles, or 2,000 tactical Tomahawk missiles.

"Congress has forced the military to operate under stopgap spending bills for the past eight years to avert government shutdowns amid partisan divisions. The temporary budgets freeze defense funding, forcing the Defense Department to shuffle funds from modernization and hiring to support current missions."

Johnson concludes her report, writing:

"Echoing sentiments from senior defense officials, Spencer said stopgap resolutions and budget constraints have been the "most harmful impediment" to rebuilding service readiness and achieving modernization.

"Funding issues born of the Budget Control Act and continuing resolutions have taken a toll on readiness, maintenance sites, and have also cost us time and resources that we cannot buy back," he said. "Urgency is the battle cry."

Growls readers concerned about responsible federal budgeting are encouraged to engage their members of Congress. Contact information is available at the Library of Congress' Congress.gov. Taxpayers living in Virginia's Arlington County can contact:

  • Senator Mark Warner (D) -- write to him or call (202) 224-2023
  • Senator Tim Kaine (D) -- write to him or call (202) 224-4024
  • Representative Don Beyer (D) -- write to him or call (202) 225-4376

Be sure to ask for a written response. And tell them ACTA sent you.

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