VFW Applauds Two-Year Budget Deal

Eliminating sequestration still a job left undone

WASHINGTON — Early this morning Congress voted to keep the government open for six more weeks as it works out a two-year budget deal that increases sequestration-levied spending caps for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. The good news is the two-year budget deal should provide the Department of Defense the predictable funding it needs to improve readiness, and build a larger, more capable and lethal force. But the deal does not eliminate sequestration.

“Reducing the impact of sequestration by raising spending caps is a step in the right direction,” said Keith Harman, national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, “but the deal doesn’t eliminate the sequester, which will still be the law after the two-year deal expires.” 

This morning’s action raises spending caps by nearly $300 billion for both defense and non-defense spending for FYs 2018 and 2019. The VFW believes that the funding increase will protect military quality of life programs, the promised 2.4 percent pay raise, and other priorities. 

Yet the VFW continues to demand that Congress permanently repeal sequestration, said Harman, who said the arbitrary spending caps set in 2011 do not reflect the reality of today’s demands on America’s military, or the continued obligation America has to properly care for her wounded, ill and injured. 

“Our military has had to operate under continuing budget resolutions in nine of the past 10 years,” said the VFW national commander. “The spending caps imposed by the sequester exacerbate the funding problem, which is why eliminating it would help bring long-term stability to those who serve and have served,” he said. “Congress must eliminate what it created!”