Pentagon Faces “Serious Problems” under Continuing Resolution

The six-month stopgap spending bill that President Obama is expected to sign into law this week to keep the government funded into next fiscal year presents “serious problems” for the Defense Department, said Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale on Sept. 25. “Bottom line, it’s hard to manage under a [continuing resolution],” said Hale during a speech in Washington, D.C. He added, “It puts another stress on the defense financial workforce and all of DOD. It’s inefficient and unfortunate.” The CR will keep most defense accounts at Fiscal 2012 levels, which are slightly higher than the Pentagon’s requests for Fiscal 2013. One exception is funding for overseas contingency operations, which will be at the Fiscal 2013 level, said Hale. Unable to conclude Fiscal 2013 appropriations bills for numerous federal departments, the Senate passed the CR on Sept 22, nine days after the House approved it. Beyond the CR, Hale said he has far more serious concerns about budget sequestration taking effect in January. “I definitely hope sequestration won’t happen, and I still believe there’s a reasonable chance it will not,” he said. (AFPS report by Karen Parrish) (See also Sequestration under a Continuing Resolution.)