Next fiscal crisis in 17 days, defense contractors are concerned

The clock is ticking, with seventeen days until the nation's next fiscal crisis

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC)-- The clock is ticking, with seventeen days until the nation's next fiscal crisis.

Midnight on December 8th is when the current Continuing Resolution that's funding the government expires.

Instead of enacting a proper long-term appropriations bill, lawmakers appear poised to pass another stopgap Continuing Resolution.

This would keep the government operating, but that would also keep the military's financial plans in limbo for weeks or months.

That would have a detrimental impact on defense contractors like private shipyards, which are the lifeblood of the Hampton Roads economy.

"The uncertainty is terrible for the industry," said Bill Crow, President of the Virginia Ship Repair Association. " It's terrible for the government, it's terrible for the Navy. It's terrible all around, because anytime you're operating off a Continuing Resolution, you don't know what levels you can spend to for that year, and you're held to the previous years in regards to what you can spend."

Crow represents over 250 member companies with an economic impact in the Hampton Roads area of more than 60,000 jobs and $4.3 billion in employee earnings and benefits.

He says years of stopgap funding from Congress has harmed his member companies.

"The problem comes into how long the next CR is going to last," he said. "Because the longer it last, the more uncertainty is built into things, the more the Navy has to live with not knowing what their levels are. And at that point, postponing maintenance availabilities that would occur, or, possibly, canceling hem because they don't know that the money is going to be made available to them."

Virginia's two U.S. Senators, Democrats Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, as well as all four members of the Hampton Roads House delegations--Republicans Rob Witman and Scott Taylor, and, Democrats Bobby Scott and Donald McEachin-- have told 13 News Now they oppose yet another Continuing Resolution. They are hopeful that a long term appropriations bill would be passed.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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