Defense spending would take a big hit if Congress does not pass full-year appropriations bills, “something that should be bugging everybody,” Patrick O’Brien, director of DOD’s Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation, said Tuesday. O’Brien was speaking at a town hall during ADC’s Installation Innovation Forum in Orlando.

Congress is currently in a scramble to pass appropriations bills, including a defense spending bill that has drastically different versions in the two chambers and is almost certain to still be up in the air when current government spending runs out Nov. 17. Lawmakers are weighing multiple options to pass another stopgap spending bill.

O’Brien noted that as part of the debt ceiling deal reached earlier this year, if appropriations bills for the current fiscal year are not completed by April, DOD would face automatic spending cuts across the board.

“Each of you at the local level – maybe you’re an installation, maybe you’re a state – should be worried about that,” O’Brien said. “I’m going to just ask you all, you’ve got to talk to your congressional folks and tell them, ‘You have to get DOD appropriations passed.’”

ADC photo by Will Noonan