“Failure to modernize our military risks leaving us with a force that could dominate the last war but be irrelevant to tomorrow’s security,” Defense Secretary James Mattis testified before the House Armed Services Committee earlier this week. “We need Congress to lift the defense spending caps and support a budget for our military.”

Listen to Secretary Mattis.

The U.S. military is the strongest fighting force in the world, but in recent years funding cuts have left our troops undertrained and underequipped on the battlefield. This is completely unacceptable.

Now we have a chance to change course and end this destructive cycle of funding our military with short-term spending bills. The Bipartisan Budget Act will fully fund our military at levels authorized under the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act. It will provide our troops with the resources they need to do their jobs safely and effectively.

We could go on and on about the sad state of our military readiness, but instead, we’ll leave you with more from Secretary Mattis’ testimony, which makes the perfect case for why we need to pass this bipartisan budget agreement as soon as possible:

“Let me be clear: as hard as the last 16 years of war have been, no enemy in the field has done more to harm the readiness of the U.S. military than the combined impact of the Budget Control Act’s defense spending caps, worsened by operating in 10 of the last 11 years under continuing resolutions of varied and unpredictable duration.

“For too long we have asked our military to carry-on stoically with a ‘success at any cost’ attitude. . . . We expect the men and women of our military to be faithful in their service, even when going in harm’s way. We also must remain faithful to them. As Speaker Ryan said in January, ‘our men and women in uniform are not bargaining chips.’

. . .

“To carry out the strategy you rightly directed we develop, we need you to pass a budget now. If we are to sustain our military’s primacy, we need to budget predictably. I know many want to avoid additional spending, but Congress must take action now to ensure our military lethality is sufficient to defend our way of life, preserve the prosperity our country enjoys, and pass on the freedoms we enjoy to the next generation. I ask that you not let disagreements on domestic policy continue to hold our nation’s defense hostage.”