Congress can help the military meet its recruitment and retention goals by passing the annual appropriations and authorization bills on time, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said this week at a Center for New American Security event.

“One of the strongest signals of healthy civil-military relations we can send right now is Congress passing a fiscal year 2024 defense appropriations and soon. The now-routine failure to secure needed resources for defense and for the whole government erodes military trust in civilian leaders,” Hicks said, as reported by Federal News Network. “If you add up the months DOD has been under a CR since 2011, it totals four years’ worth of delays, delayed new programming, delayed training and delayed permanent change of station moves. We cannot afford any further delays.”

The House has passed its version of the defense appropriations bill. The Senate has not.

Appropriators and congressional leaders are currently working on an additional stopgap spending plan to avoid a government shutdown when the current continuing resolution expires Nov. 17.

DOD photo by Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jack Sanders