Air Force Chief Begs Congress for a Budget

The impact of a year-long Fiscal 2017 continuing resolution on the Air Force would be “a $2.8 billion bill,” the service’s Chief of Staff David Goldfein said Wednesday. Because the service would refuse to “break faith” with congressionally mandated military pay raises, he said USAF would be forced to produce shortfalls in other accounts in the absence of a full appropriation. If Congress funds the federal government with another CR after the current one expires on April 28, it would “stop our end strength growth,” and “any new starts will stop” as well, Goldfein told the audience at a Heritage Foundation event in Washington, D.C. That’s why Goldfein said “the most important thing we can get from Congress is a budget.” A series of short-term resolutions, he said, “completely undermines a service chief’s ability to plan for the future.” He said the impact is also being felt in the defense industry, where he has to tell contractors, “I’m not sure exactly what I can buy from you next year.”