WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congresswoman Elaine Luria today urged House leadership to prioritize defense spending and avoid a year-long Continuing Resolution, which would have disastrous consequences for Coastal Virginia’s economy and America’s national security. In a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Luria said failing to pass appropriations legislation for Fiscal Year 2022 jeopardizes a pay raise for servicemembers and would cost the U.S. Navy $14 billion.
“It is our duty to provide the resources needed for our government to function, our military to be ready to respond, and our workers to continue to put food on the table,” Rep. Luria said in the letter. “We must act swiftly to pass the Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations bills, and I urge you to make this the top priority for the Congress in the coming days.”
A copy of the letter is available here and below:
Dear Speaker Pelosi:
I write today gravely concerned with the lack of action on Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations bills, particularly securing funding for our national defense. This week, the House is preparing to pass another Continuing Resolution, extending current funding levels through mid-February. I fear that without greater urgency it is becoming increasingly likely that we may take up a year-long continuing resolution, which would have a disastrous impact on Coastal Virginia. Simply kicking the can down the road could undermine the considerable economic progress made since the start of the pandemic, disrupt our major industries and employers, and make the lives of my constituents, already burdened by inflation, more difficult.
One in five people in my community are active duty servicemembers, veterans, or military family members. Subverting the normal appropriations process and passing a one-year continuing resolution could jeopardize paychecks, livelihoods, and the long-term economic future of our regional economy. Failing to pass a spending bill could nullify the 2.7 percent pay raise for our servicemembers recently authorized by the House Armed Services Committee. A year-long continuing resolution could force staff shortages at VA facilities that are already overburdened, increasing wait times and case backlogs, and preventing our veterans from accessing the care they need. In a time of economic uncertainty, we should be doing all we can to provide stability and reassurance to our constituents, including fully funding the government.
The Navy, both a major employer in my community and a cornerstone of our nation’s national security, estimates a loss of $14 billion in purchasing power in the event of a year-long continuing resolution. Billions of dollars would be diverted away from key Department of Defense priorities to compensate for the cuts that would need to take place because of a stopgap funding measure. This would prevent the Navy from acquiring ships, weapons, and equipment central to our national defense and the safety and security of the world. Uncertainty about funding would harm the shipbuilding industry for years at the worst possible time. Anything that weakens the Navy threatens our ability to defend democracy abroad. America’s enemies will no doubt leverage any limitations created by this funding lapse.
It is our duty to provide the resources needed for our government to function, our military to be ready to respond, and our workers to continue to put food on the table. We must act swiftly to pass the Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations bills, and I urge you to make this the top priority for the Congress in the coming days.
Elaine G. Luria
Member of Congress