With War Raging in Eastern Europe, Will Congress Finally Fund Our Government?

With War Raging in Eastern Europe, Will Congress Finally Fund Our Government?
The first of 2,000 soldiers arrive in Europe following the DoD's announcement of additional forces moving to the region in support of NATO allies. (Photo by Spc. Joshua Cowden/Army)

With a continuing resolution (CR) slated to expire March 11, both chambers must resolve differences to pave the way to appropriate funds necessary to sustain the government for the rest of this fiscal year.


The most recent CR, H.R. 6617, made it through the House on Feb. 8 with little trouble. But the Senate was slow to act, held up by a handful of COVID-related amendments that would have derailed the process. Sensing the president was ready to sign the bill, Senate leaders shut down the amendments and moved to a vote; the measure passed Feb. 17, just one day from the government shutdown deadline.


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Will there be resentment from those who want to continue waging efforts to get their COVID-related amendments into the full appropriations or the next CR? Will other emerging issues find their way into the appropriations process? The answers will hopefully be known well before March 11.


However, it is more likely we will see one of three results, and likely just at the deadline:

  1. Congress passes full appropriations through the fiscal year.
  2. Congress passes modified appropriations through the fiscal year.
  3. Congress submits yet another CR to allow more time to resolve differences.


Given the three CRs already this fiscal year, the narrowing window of opportunity, and the competing priorities within both parties in an election year, there is little cause for overwhelming optimism that both chambers collectively will solve the biggest question: “Will Congress fully fund the government?”


Our country sent troops to Eastern Europe — they are stationed around the war in Ukraine as a show of support for our NATO allies. Make no mistake, our servicemembers are in harm’s way.


War is difficult to contain — especially when the leader of Russia already has shown a disregard for borders and the lives of innocents. Ask your lawmakers to show support for those under threat and for all members of the uniformed services community, past and present, by passing a budget now.


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About the Author

Col. Dan Merry, USAF (Ret)
Col. Dan Merry, USAF (Ret)

Merry earned his commission in 1989 through AFROTC and commanded DoD’s Port Mortuary at Dover AFB, Del. He has served in multiple overseas conflicts since the 1990s and has served as the Vice President of Government Relations since August 2016.