Budget Blog Series: Funding the U.S. Defense Industrial Base

It’s that time of year again when Congress sprints to finish allocating funding for the next fiscal year. Between continuing resolutions (CRs) and the risk of a government shutdown, the constantly in flux nature of this process is problematic for many areas of our government, but especially when it comes to our national defense.  

A healthy manufacturing and defense industrial base depends on robust and stable funding.  Consistent defense budgets enable our companies to align investments in research and development (R&D) and production facilities, and secure their sources of supply, to meet the military’s needs. 

But once again, despite agreement to a broader bipartisan budget deal, the possibility of a long-term CR in FY 2020 looms over the DoD. CRs require defense budgets to operate at the previous year’s levels and prohibit the beginning of new programs or increases in production quantities; these restrictions undermine military readiness and stop innovation in its tracks.  Uncertainty in defense budgets provides an unstable environment for R&D and production facilities, compromising the DoD’s ability to protect our national security.

That’s why the best process for our national defense are continuous, robust and stable defense budgets. They allow our industry and government to continue to innovate through consistent funding for R&D. For example, in AIA’s Think Bigger study, created in partnership with-Avascent, we project that for the market for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) will grow to $30 billion by 2036. But without a stable budget, we risk losing that potential market for emerging aircraft.

We call on Congress to avoid a long-term continuing resolution by passing the FY 2020 Defense Authorization Act immediately. We must ensure proper and consistent funding to support the men and women who protect our country, to keep the innovation they depend on flourishing in our industry, and to provide the best security for our nation.