Topline Budget Deal Reached, But Lawmakers’ Work Is Far From Over

Topline Budget Deal Reached, But Lawmakers’ Work Is Far From Over
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Members of Congress reached a bipartisan deal on overall FY 2024 spending levels early in the new year, with a topline agreement for $1.59 trillion struck between key lawmakers.


It’s a necessary step toward funding the government, but it’s not the final step. With these discretionary spending levels agreed to, appropriators will now work to finalize the 12 appropriations bills. But time to accomplish this is tight.


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The agreement sets the total for defense discretionary spending at $886 billion, with $704 billion for nondefense programs. That’s a 3% uptick for defense spending, with the rest of the budget virtually flat. Notably, the deal protects VA funding, which is key given the passage of the MOAA-backed Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act, legislation expanding VA access to millions of veterans.


More Temporary Funding?

Congress passed stopgap legislation in late 2023 extending funding until Jan. 19 for portions of the government including military construction and veterans’ affairs. The remainder of the government will be funded until Feb. 2.


We are running out of time, and frustration is mounting over the prospect of additional short-term funding solutions (i.e., another continuing resolution) as the final budget is secured. These temporary fixes come at great cost – billions of dollars in misaligned funds, delays in MOAA-supported initiatives to improve the quality of life for servicemembers and their families, and yearly scrambles by those in uniform and DoD civilians to account for an ever-moving budget target.


Now is the time to contact your lawmakers and demand action. MOAA needs your support to encourage Congress to finalize the full funding of our government. Write to your lawmakers today and make your voice heard.


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About the Author

Cory Titus
Cory Titus

Titus separated from the Army in 2017 as a captain and is MOAA's Director of Veteran Benefits and Guard/Reserve Affairs. He is currently studying social entrepreneurship at George Mason University with a focus on improving military financial education.