With zero of the 12 appropriations bills needed to fully fund the government signed into law, Congress resorted to another continuing resolution (CR) to avoid a federal shutdown, with the House passing the year’s second CR 336-95 on Nov. 14 and the Senate passing it 87-11 late Nov. 15, two days before the first CR expires.
The new CR, with no anticipated policy changes or spending reductions, features two distinct expiration dates extending the appropriations and authorities of the 12 FY 2023 spending bills: Jan. 19 for Agriculture, Energy-Water, Military Construction-VA, and Transportation-HUD; and Feb. 2 for Defense, Homeland Security, Labor-HHS-Education, Commerce-Justice-Science, Financial Services, Interior-Environment, Legislative Branch, and State-Foreign Operations. The White House had indicated the president will sign the legislation into law.
While MOAA supports the CR in lieu of a shutdown, relying on extensions instead of passing a full budget comes at a significant cost:
- Underfunded programs, benefits, and services: By extending the funding expiration dates into the new year, federal agencies overseeing the eight uniformed services lack the authorizations or funding necessary for crucial elements such as the annual military pay raise, quality health care coverage, and quality-of-life programs for servicemembers and their families.
- Time crunch: The new expiration dates compress the timeline for federal agencies to spend funds and implement programs that will be outlined in the FY 2024 regular appropriation bills.
- Looming budget cuts: Failure by Congress to pass a budget by the start of the new year would pose a significant threat to all federal agencies and the programs vital to supporting the uniformed services and veteran communities. If all 12 regular appropriation bills for FY 2024 are not signed into law by Jan. 1, it would trigger an automatic 1% funding cut across all departments, with no exception for DoD or the VA.
Take action today and urge your lawmakers to pass a full budget for FY 2024 and do what is right for our nation’s servicemembers, past and present, and their families.
MOAA remains vigilant in monitoring Congress’s progress on passing all 12 regular appropriation bills for FY 2024. Stay informed by subscribing to MOAA’s weekly newsletter and visiting MOAA’s Advocacy News page for the latest updates.
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