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U.S. defense industry pushes Congress for budget deal

By Ryan Maass
Five powerful defense industry associations call for an end to congressional gridlock over the budget. File photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI
Five powerful defense industry associations call for an end to congressional gridlock over the budget. File photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Five influential U.S. defense industry associations are putting more pressure on lawmakers as a budget agreement deadline quickly approaches.

The Navy League of the United States, the National Defense Industrial Association, Aerospace Industries Association, the Air Force Association and the National Guard Association of the United States have joined forces to press for defense industry interests as Congress continues debating what the next fiscal year will look like.

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In an open letter to congressional leaders signed by leaders of each organization, representatives of the security industry call for a bipartisan agreement on funding for security interests.

"We note with disappointment that 'the game of budget chicken,' as the Secretary of Defense recently put it, has begun again over FY16 funding levels," the letter reads. "We had hoped that meaningful negotiations would already be underway, but the media has reported little progress."

The letter also takes aim at political targeting of defense spending, saying that "cuts to discretionary accounts alone cannot resolve the fundamental imbalance between revenue and spending."

Congress has passed short-term continuing resolutions temporarily setting spending at the previous year's levels, a practice the organizations also criticize. The alliance of defense organizations featured in the letter argue the Department of Defense needs the stability of a long-term budget deal to better plan for national security interests in the future.

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Congress has until the end of September to reach an agreement for Fiscal Year 2016.

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