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These three weapon systems will face delays under a short CR

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WASHINGTON — As Congress heads toward the start of fiscal 2020, potentially under a continuing resolution, the Pentagon has identified three key modernization programs that will suffer under the restrictions of such an approach.

At a press briefing Thursday, Jonathan Hoffman, the department’s top spokesman, said Defense Secretary Mark Esper met with congressional leaders this week to urge them to avoid a CR. However, that path appears unlikely, with the House passing legislation to keep the government open under a CR through Nov. 21.

Under a CR, budgets will be locked at FY19 levels. More importantly for a department which made modernization a key focus of its FY20 request, no new programs can be launched under the budget mechanism.

“The hope is that if it’s kept within, you know, a few weeks to a little bit more than that, that it’s something we can manage and work through, but once we start getting into months and quarters, the impact grows exponentially, and [it] becomes more difficult to recover from those impacts,” Hoffman said.

On Friday, the department stated that a one to three month CR would “disrupt major exercises and training events, affect readiness and maintenance, curtail hiring and recruitment actions, and adversely impact contracting negotiations.” But more specifically, it called out three modernization priorities that would be hurt:

Should the CR extend beyond Nov. 21, expect concerns from the Pentagon to expand.

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