In an appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, doubled down on Defense Secretary James Mattis’ claims that the United States Congress must provide immediate and consistent funding to the American military in order to counter the negative effects of years under uncertain budgets and sequestration.

According to the General, there will be “profound consequences for the military” in the near future “if the spending trajectory doesn’t change.”  He went on to call on lawmakers to approve President Trump’s proposed budget that includes a slight bump in overall defense expenditures intended to help curb the gap created in military readiness caused by sixteen years of ongoing combat operations and dwindling funds.

“It will affect our nuclear deterrence, our conventional deterrence and our ability to respond if deterrence fails,” he said. “Alternatively, we can maintain our competitive advantage, with sustained sufficient and predictable funding. To that end, the [fiscal year 2018] budget is an essential step.”

James Mattis also testified before Congress on the subject, claiming that “no enemy in the field has done more to harm the readiness of our military than sequestration,” in his own testimony.