WASHINGTON, District of Columbia—Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), Chairwoman of the House Armed Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, on Tuesday sent a letter to President Trump urging prompt clarification of his memorandum implementing a federal hiring freeze as it pertains to Department of Defense (DOD) civilian personnel and support for complete staffing of DOD contracting personnel.

“I appreciate the President’s efforts to reduce the size of the federal government, and I also share his desire to ensure our national security above all else,” Hartzler stated. “That is why we sent this letter. We support the full staffing of DOD contracting offices, whose roles are vital to our national security, and urge clarification of the memorandum to indicate there is no hiring freeze on these personnel.”

Hartzler sent the letter, signed by 18 other Members of Congress, after President Trump’s memorandum, issued January 23rd, froze federal hiring.

The letter highlights readiness issues exacerbated by the uncertainty in implementation of the hiring freeze, including cannibalizing museum aircraft for parts and a 50 percent increase in Marine Corps Class-A aviation mishaps over the last year.

“The impacts on our readiness are increased by restricting the filling of key contracting positions. Their work directly impacts our military’s ability to modernize its equipment and keep its technological edge against a broad range of threats.” Hartzler added.

You can read Hartzler’s letter here.

Hartzler represents Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.