WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary Jim Mattis declared Monday that he was "shocked" upon his return to the Pentagon by the poor state of the U.S. military's readiness for combat.
He put most of the blame on Congress for its inability to approve budgets on time or repeal a law that strictly limits defense spending.
Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee, Mattis said Congress has "sidelined itself from its active constitutional oversight role" by failing to deliver a steady stream of funding to pay for new weapons and other critical gear.
"It has blocked new programs, prevented service growth, stalled industry initiative and placed troops at greater risk," Mattis said as he urged
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