WASHINGTON, D.C. (WVEC) -- For the third time this year, Congress has kicked the can down the road, passing a budget plan to keep the government from shutting down at midnight.
President Trump signed the bill Friday.
But instead of passing a proper, long-term appropriation bill, they've simply delayed the eventual day of reckoning.
Senators Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, and Representative Scott Taylor voted "yes." Representatives Rob Wittman, Bobby Scott, and Don McEachin voted "no."
"The reason I voted no is, we're not addressing the issues," said McEachin. "We keep kicking them down the line."
The new Continuing Resolution keeps government operations up and running through January 19, but still funded at fiscal 2017 levels.
And that's the problem.
"There is total uncertainty as to what happens five weeks from now," said retired Navy rear admiral Craig Quigley, who serves as executive director of the Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance. "Will there be another Continuing Resolution? Will there be an appropriation? Will the government shut down? You just don't know. So your ability to plan long-term is just about zero."
Pentagon leaders have said that as a result, military readiness is suffering. Quigley adds defense contractors who support the military are unable to prepare for the future.
"If you are in a business such as ship repair, that requires the purchase of long lead-time materials to get ready for a complicated job. Your ability to do that is greatly reduced," he said.
Quigley says it is time for Congress to do the right thing.
"The sooner we get a real budget that takes us through the rest of Fiscal Year 2018 so that there is certainty in the minds of every federal manager at every level, the better," he said.
Congress is on holiday recess until January 3. When they return, they'll have just 16 days before the next budget deadline and yet another potential government shutdown threat.
© 2018 WVEC-TV