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Multi-Association Letter Urging Defense Appropriations Bill

Press Release From: Aerospace Industries Association
Posted: Friday, February 4, 2011

The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker, House of Representatives
1011 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Boehner:

Our associations, representing thousands of companies and their employees across a wide range of industries in all 50 states, strongly urge you to support quick Congressional action on a full fiscal 2011 defense appropriations bill, rather than funding the programs through a continuing appropriations resolution (CR). We share the concerns expressed by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates that if the Department of Defense (DOD) is required to operate under a year-long continuing resolution, DOD will be "without the resources and flexibility needed to meet vital military requirements."

As Congress resumes debate on 2011 funding issues in advance of the expiration of the current CR on March 4, 2011, it is critical that policy makers carefully consider the negative impact on important aerospace and national security programs if DOD is asked to manage its vast and complex operations under a year-long continuing resolution. The lack of adequate funding would have adverse effects on the defense industrial base and vital new initiatives for our military and for aerospace activities.

Moreover, the lack of adequate DOD funding could threaten thousands of U.S. manufacturing and related jobs connected to these programs. In particular, under-funded programs and delayed new starts could force companies to furlough or lay off employees and delay new hires. In addition, a year-long CR would precipitate a series of costly schedule delays, production breaks, and other acquisition inefficiencies that will not only increase out-year costs for required DOD programs, it could adversely affect our warfighters. These outcomes would actually hamper deficit control efforts rather than enhance them.

Funding DOD through a CR will place additional strains on the Department because a number of additional costs are not covered by a continuing resolution. While a full-year continuing resolution would cut defense funding by about $19 billion, according to Secretary Gates, it "would not reduce or eliminate any of the additional bills the department must pay in the coming year [including] the military pay raise, increases in military health care costs, higher fuel prices, and other 'fact of life' bills." We have additional concerns how a year-long CR would affect other critical Federal agencies, including NASA, GSA, FHWA and the FAA as they would face similar challenges under a continuing resolution. Operations vital to our national security and economic prosperity could suffer without full appropriations for these agencies.

Thank you in advance for considering our request. We look forward to working with you and the Administration to address full-year funding for these activities based on program needs, not the funding and legal strictures of a continuing resolution.

[signed]

Aerospace Industries Association
National Defense Industrial Association
American Council of Engineering Companies
TechAmerica, U.S. Magnetic Materials Association
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
National Association of Manufacturers
Professional Services Council
Associated General Contractors of America
Center for Defense Studies
Air Force Association.

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