When the two-year Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 expires, sequestration will return for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY2020). The two-year 2018 budget compromise that raised budget caps creates needed breathing room to restore readiness to our sea services, yet when it expires in FY2020, we return to a budget-driven military strategy with arbitrary caps. The Navy League is very concerned about returning to sequestration at a time of emerging threats like the increasingly aggressive actions of Iran, Russia, and China.
Without another deal, the FY2020 defense budget will be $576 billion, an 11% drop from FY2019 levels. Under sequestration, deployment lengths increased, training was reduced, and repair work was delayed. This combination of threats and limited resources could result in the sea services taking on additional and dangerous risk in order to execute the National Security Strategy.
The Navy Force Structure Assessment states that we need to grow to a minimum of 355 ships to respond to the current threat environment with an acceptable level of risk. The Marine Corps remains at a high operational tempo, keeping Marines and their equipment working at unsustainable levels. The Coast Guard is undergoing a much-needed recapitalization of its aging fleet while building its icebreaker fleet, and the Maritime Administration must be able to grow the pool of American mariners and replace aging training ships. We need strong sea services that are able to respond quickly and definitively to any crisis. The Sea Services provide the security necessary for the rules-based international order that benefits every single American and the entire globe.
The impacts of the last round of sequestration and other budget impacts are undeniable. We've seen a surge in aircraft accidents, ship collisions, and increasing aggression from other nations. At a time that all experts agree we should be growing our military, we cannot afford to go back to BCA-level funding caps. National Defense funding caps should be raised to accurately meet the needs of our global security environment.
Why you should act
Let your Representatives and Senators know that you oppose sequestration.Tell Congress to repeal the Budget Control Act today and get rid of sequestration!