Impacts of a Full Year Continuing Resolution

Prepared by the office of Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)

At a time of inflation, a continuing resolution undermines national security and the ability of American families to cope with the increased costs of heating and cooling, food, and housing.  Republicans’ refusal to compromise on an omnibus spending bill threatens to drive us toward a year-long continuing resolution.  This would hurt not only Democratic priorities and programs, but programs that have strong bipartisan support and perform critical functions for the nation.

Impacts under a year-long continuing resolution include:

  • The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorizes a $75 billion increase over FY 2022 for the Department of Defense.  None of this additional funding will become available under a CR, harming military readiness and stifling innovation and modernization efforts.  Nearly 100 major construction projects within the Department of Defense, including those supporting troop and family housing and childcare would be unable to move forward.
  • Under a year-long CR, additional funding will be unavailable to maintain our nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile, assist in nuclear nonproliferation efforts, and sustain the Navy’s nuclear propulsion program. 
  • Our veterans would suffer.  VA would be short at least $7.5 billion needed to cover medical care for the women and men who served their country, and would not have the funds to fully implement the bipartisan PACT Act, undermining the promise Congress made to help cover medical costs for those veterans who suffer from conditions related to toxic exposure during their service.  
  • The bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 would not be implemented.  The CHIPS Act creates a goal of doubling funding for science and technology programs by 2027 to help the U.S. compete with China, including a 28 percent increase in FY 2023.  None of these investments can be made under a year-long CR.  This means we lose an opportunity to keep pace with China and other international competitors in scientific discoveries that can power the economy in fields like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, microelectronics and advanced communications.        
  • Earlier this year, Congress enacted on a bipartisan basis the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2022, authorizing new programs and additional money for a variety of critical domestic violence and sexual assault services.  Under a CR none of these new programs will be funded and the existing programs will be held to last year’s funding level despite a significant increase in demand and the opportunity to provide historic levels of funding in an omnibus.
  • Assistance to state and local law enforcement would not keep up with the need.  Under a year-long CR, Byrne-JAG assistance grants and COPS hiring would not receive additional funding to allow them to provide more assistance to local law enforcement or hire at least 1,500 more police officers to help patrol our streets.  
  • Highway and transit formula programs would lose out on $1.6 billion in previously approved highway and transit funds because there would be no increase to the obligation limitation enacted into law.  It would cause states to cancel previously planned capital and maintenance projects that are critical to improving our nation’s bridges and roads.  It would negate the historical, bipartisan investments in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the loss of an estimated 20,800 jobs.
  • Our nation’s Air Traffic Controllers would be over $530 million short of what they need to keep our airspace safe, leading to major delays due to critical staffing shortages. 
  • Small businesses would suffer.  Under a year-long CR, the Small Business Administration would not be able to meet the demands of small businesses across the country.  This includes critical loan and grant programs that help launch new small businesses, veterans-assistance programs, technical assistance, and many more.  Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and should not be short-changed. 
  • 4,000 small businesses would be cut out of the SCORE program due to insufficient resources, excluding them from crucial mentorship and support.
  • A year-long CR would mean the loss of 1,000 jobs due to flat funding to the Microloan program. 
  • 500 small businesses would lose out on training and technical assistance through the 7(j) program, including businesses in areas of high unemployment.
  • The National Institutes of Health would be hamstrung, unable to absorb inflationary costs or expand its research, potentially slowing advances in critical medicine. 
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) would fall behind on its commitments to support the International Space Station and the Artemis program to return humans to the Moon by 2025, as well as countless other NASA efforts to build and operate more than 100 missions from low Earth Orbit to interstellar space.
  • Our nation’s economy would suffer as Customs and Border Protection would be forced to furlough the officers responsible for inspections of people and cargo at air, land, and sea ports of entry.
  • The decrease in workforce hours, equivalent to over 600 officers, represents a loss of billions in terms of GDP and approximately 60,000 American jobs.
  • Wait times at America’s airports could increase from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours and from 30 minutes to 2.5 hours at the land ports and elimination of overtime will require CBP to deny landing rights at airports outside core business hours.  This will exacerbate current supply chain issues and slow economic recovery.
  • Less workforce hours reduces CBP’s inspection capabilities and its ability to seize illicit items. Under a full-year CR, up to 80,000 pounds of narcotics may successfully enter our country, and thousands of products posing risks to consumers and U.S. businesses would enter the U.S. market.
  • Border security advancements would stall. In Fiscal Year 2022, Congress provided $276 million for border security technology to help detect, identify, and interdict illegal activity at the border. Under a full-year CR there is no funding for Border Patrol to continue operating these investments, wasting Congress’ efforts to strengthen border security and reducing its ability to combat and disrupt transnational criminal organizations.
  • We would not have the funds needed to successfully run the newly launched Suicide Prevention Lifeline (988).  Significantly more resources are needed to handle the increase in calls that are the result of the opioid crisis, COVID pandemic, and other mental health issues that have risen in recent years.  Without more funding to run the Lifeline, people in crisis will not be served.  
  • Families struggling to heat and cool their homes as energy costs rise will lack the assistance they need.  Heating oil prices have increased 68.5 percent, electricity is up 15.5 percent, and natural gas has increased 20 percent.  A full-year CR means critical programs such as LIHEAP would serve fewer families, or benefits would be cut.
  • HUD rental assistance programs would be $4.7 billion below what is needed to continue to assist all families currently participating in the program, leading families to losing assistance.  These housing resources are critical to preventing homelessness for low-income families across the country, especially at a time when rents are skyrocketing and vacancy rates across the country are near historic lows.
  • The FDA would not have the resources to continue to deal with infant formula shortages or properly conduct inspections to keep our food safe. 
  • Native Americans would suffer.  Under a CR, the quality of health care for Native Americans will diminish with longer wait times for appointments and procedures, growing backlogs for distributing modern medical equipment such as mammography machines, weaker efforts to recruit quality providers in often remote areas, and failure to continue investments to fully modernize health records.  
  • The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) would lack resources to support the BIS’s aggressive enforcement of Russian and Belarussian export controls and other BIS efforts to counter Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  The BIS would also struggle to support the continued execution of the substantial number of exemption requests to the steel and aluminum tariffs.

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