Congress Can Save Billions in DoD Spending … Just by Doing Its Job

Congress Can Save Billions in DoD Spending … Just by Doing Its Job
Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images

The 2023 fiscal year arrives in about 80 days, and barring a sudden course correction in the halls of Congress, it will come without a fully funded government.


MOAA and other advocacy groups have outlined the many problems caused by the regular use of continuing resolutions to keep the government’s doors open as budget talks charge past the Oct. 1 deadline – not just in recent months, but frequently as the problem repeats itself. Estimates vary, but they aren’t cheap; one report put the cost of a potential yearlong FY 2022 continuing resolution at $76 billion before the eventual full-year funding came to pass ... about halfway through the fiscal year.


[TAKE ACTION: Ask Your Lawmakers to Fully Fund the Government on Time]


Why does a delay do so much damage?

  • Old numbers. The continuing resolution locks funding in at the previous year’s level.

  • Old priorities. The resolution generally prevents DoD from starting new initiatives or discontinuing old ones, sidelining innovation and continuing funds for outdated programs.

  • Old threats. As resolutions expire and new deadlines approach, worries of a government shutdown create even more complex problems – more layers of planning for such funding lapses lead to further waste, and while DoD-related pay usually remains steady during a shutdown, those serving in the Coast Guard and in the commissioned corps of the U.S. Public Health Service and NOAA can face threatened or actual salary disruptions.

  • New prices. The resolution doesn’t account for inflation, stretching DoD accounts even further.


[RELATED: Here’s How Your Virtual Advocacy Has Made a Difference This Year]


One might think the high cost of failing to meet the budget deadline may motivate lawmakers to push authorization bills through both chambers, especially in a midterm election year. As MOAA outlined in April, history suggests otherwise. And reports of ongoing budget talks suggest history is on course to repeat itself.


These reports rarely make a dent in the national media, with other topics taking over the airwaves. That’s why MOAA relies on its members to use their power as constituents to focus the attention of their lawmakers – send a letter today and make clear you’re tired of this cycle of waste.


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About the Author

Kevin Lilley
Kevin Lilley

Lilley serves as MOAA's digital content manager. His duties include producing, editing, and managing content for a variety of platforms, with a concentration on The MOAA Newsletter and Follow him on X: @KRLilley