Selva Takes Congress to Task Over Missing Budget

Gen. Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday that a congressionally approved budget is so important that “there’s a part of me that says, I don’t care what size it is—just give us a budget.” This is the ninth year the Defense Department has had to operate under a continuing resolution and that long-term inability of Congress to appropriate the funds it has authorized the military to spend, Selva said, is one reason Americans “have lost faith in the ability of Congress to do its job.” He called on “mom and pop public” to pressure their elected officials to get the job done, noting the problem with CRs is that they “tie us to yesterday’s plan,” prevent DOD from doing “anything new,” and force the department to “spend money badly.” Congress needs to wrap up the debate and “get it the hell over with,” added Selva bluntly during an AFA-sponsored, Air Force breakfast in Arlington, Va. If April 28 comes and there is no budget, “We will no longer have authority to spend money to defend the nation.”