WASHINGTON, March 23 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy says the federal budget impasse is forcing it to delay ship repairs, cut flight and sailing hours and disrupt sailors' lives.
With the fiscal year half gone, Congress has failed to agree on the annual budget and is using a series of continuing resolutions to keep the government running.
With no guarantee of funding past early April, Navy officials warn they cannot make any plans and must cut expenses just to meet payrolls.
"While virtually every account will be impacted in some way, we will be especially hard hit in operations and maintenance, new ship construction and other procurement accounts," Lt. Courtney Hillson, a Navy spokeswoman, told The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va.
Hillson said a $4.6 billion shortfall in operations and maintenance accounts has forced the Navy to cancel 29 surface ship repairs and defer maintenance on aircraft and their engines.
Maintenance at bases, training and naval exercises also are being cut back, she said.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told the Senate last week there is a $600 million shortage in Navy and Marine Corps manpower accounts, and other funds must be raided to make payroll.