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DOD Continues Work With Congress to Get Appropriation

The Defense Department has operated under a continuing resolution for nearly 150 days. On March 9, the continuing resolution now funding the department will expire, opening the possibility of a partial or full government shutdown.

During a media briefing today, Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder again stressed the importance having on-time, full-year appropriations and the damage a continuing resolution does to the department's ability to plan and modernize the force.

A man in a military uniform stands at a lectern.
Press Briefing
Pentagon Press Secretary U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder conducts a media briefing at the Pentagon, Feb. 27, 2024.
Photo By: Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jack Sanders
VIRIN: 240227-D-XI929-1007

"I'd like to ... underscore the urgent need for Congress to pass the department's request for a fiscal year 2024 base budget," Ryder said. "Continuing to operate under continuing resolutions is unsustainable and detrimental to our nation's national security interests." 

DOD, like other government entities, operates with funds budgeted for the fiscal year that must be approved by both houses of Congress and signed by the president. Fiscal year 2024 runs Oct. 1, 2023, through Sept. 30, 2024. For departments like DOD to be most effective, the budget for a fiscal year should be signed into law before the fiscal year actually begins. 

Congress has not yet passed the FY24 budget. Instead, the department has been funded through a stop-gap funding measure called a continuing resolution, or CR. While operations can continue under a continuing resolution, wider planning and modernization efforts cannot. 

"The absence of an appropriation bill for the fiscal year severely hampers the department's ability to plan effectively," Ryder said. "We are already well into the fiscal year — now in our fifth month — and, unfortunately, find ourselves again under a third continuing resolution. The fact is that this uncertainty undermines our military readiness and jeopardizes critical modernization efforts." 

Since Oct. 1, Congress has passed three separate CRs to fund the DOD and other parts of the government. The latest of those continuing resolutions expires in 11 days. If by then Congress fails to pass an additional continuing resolution or to pass a full appropriation for FY 2024, the government will shut down.


In the 14 fiscal years since fiscal year 2011, the DOD has had only one, on-time, full appropriation. For 13 of those years, the department operated — at least part of the time — under a CR. 

"The cumulative effect of spending years under CRs, dating back to 2011, is deeply concerning," he said. "It amounts to nearly five years of constrained funding levels, impeding the DOD's capacity to adapt to evolving threats and innovate to maintain our competitive edge." 

Ryder said the failure to pass a base budget for DOD puts national security at risk and also means the department is unable to make investments in new technology, equipment and training for personnel. 

"In light of these pressing concerns, the department will continue to work closely with Congress and urge them to act now to pass a base budget for the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2024," Ryder said. "The bottom line is that a full-year appropriation is crucial for safeguarding our nation's security and ensuring our military remains prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century."

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