U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter wrote in the Wall Street Journal : "For the seventh year in a row, Congress has failed to pass a defense appropriations bill in time to start the fiscal year. And for the past four years, the Defense Department and other federal agencies have been struggling with the impact of sequestration, which imposed cuts that were never meant to be implemented, but were supposed to prod both parties to come together and reach a budget agreement. The Defense Department has done its best to manage through this prolonged period of budget uncertainty, making painful choices and trade-offs among the size, capabilities and readiness of the joint force."
"The nation cannot allow this to become the new normal. While Washington struggles to get its house in order, the challenges around the world continue. China continues its dubious and destabilizing land-reclamation activities in the South China Sea. Islamic State continues its barbarous campaign. Russia continues to violate the sovereignty of Ukraine and pour gasoline on the Syrian conflict."