New York: Monday, September 21, 2020
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Senators Call On Pentagon To Save Legendary Military Publication

A bipartisan group of senators this week urged the Pentagon to protect funding for Stars and Stripes, a longtime publication that covers the U.S. navy neighborhood and is revealed for service members around the globe, which the Pentagon reportedly ordered to stop operations and shutter its newsroom by the tip of September, underneath proposed price range cuts.

“Stars and Stripes is an essential part of our nation’s freedom of the press that serves the very population charged with defending that freedom,” the 15 senators wrote in a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper Wednesday. “Therefore, we respectfully request that you rescind your decision to discontinue support for Stars and Stripes and that you reinstate the funding necessary for it to continue operations.”

According to the letter, the Defense Department “plans to cease publication of Stars and Stripes on September 30, 2020 and completely dissolve the organization by January 31, 2021 as a result of the proposed termination of funding in the fiscal year 2021 President’s budget.”



Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks to members of the media throughout a information convention to debate the division’s efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic on the Pentagon Briefing Room in Washington, in March 2020.

A Pentagon memo provides the paper’s writer till Sept. 15 to stipulate a process that “dissolves the Stars and Stripes” and start plans “for vacating government owned/leased space worldwide,” in accordance with USA Today, which first reported the memo Friday.

A spokesperson for the Pentagon didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark Friday.

Stars and Stripes is housed underneath and receives funding from the Department of Defense, however is editorially unbiased of it. Dating again to the Civil War, it has operated constantly since World War II, publishing print editions around the globe for U.S. navy members serving abroad.

In February, the DoD first signaled it might be stripping funding from the publication within the division’s 2021 price range. Defense Secretary Mark Esper claimed it was a cost-saving measure, even though the $15.5 million for the publication makes up a tiny fraction of the Pentagon’s proposed $705.4 billion price range for 2021.

“We trimmed the support for Stars and Stripes because we need to invest that money, as we did with many, many other programs, into higher-priority issues,” Esper stated on the time, citing area, nuclear applications and hypersonic missiles.

In July, the House handed a protection spending invoice that included funding for the publication. However, the Senate has but to vote on the invoice or cross a unbroken decision to briefly protect funding whereas it negotiates subsequent 12 months’s protection price range. Without any legislative motion, the publication’s funding would expire on Sept. 30, the tip of the 2020 fiscal 12 months.

The senators wrote {that a} persevering with decision “places a legal obligation on the Department to not act on a termination of a program until a full-year appropriations bill is enacted,” asking Esper for “written assurance that the Department will comply with this obligation and avoid steps that would preempt the funding prerogative of Congress.”

Stars and Stripes writer Max Lederer didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark Friday. In response to the Senate letter Wednesday, he advised The Hill that the Pentagon officers knowledgeable him final month that the paper must cease publishing on Sept. 30 and stop operations by January. Without the funding, he stated he must lay off the paper’s employees. 

President Donald Trump often touts his help of the U.S. navy and makes use of it for his political picture, whereas additionally denigrating it. On Thursday, the Atlantic reported that whereas visiting France in 2018, Trump referred to navy members who died in World War I as “suckers” and “losers.” The White House denied the feedback, although a number of DoD officers confirmed them to The Associated Press and The Washington Post.

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