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Thank you for listening to Congressional Dish! 

Mar 6, 2024

As we enter another round of government funding drama, let’s learn the basics. In this episode, we examine how the process is supposed to work, spot the tell tale signs that something has gone wrong, and decipher all of the DC wonky words that make the appropriations process seem more complicated than it really is.

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Background Sources


Find the current status of the Appropriations Process

House Appropriations Committee.

Senate Appropriations Committee.

“Subcommittee Jurisdiction.” February 8, 2023. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations.

Mandatory vs. Discretionary Spending

“How much has the U.S. government spent this year?”

“Policy Basics: Introduction to the Federal Budget Process.” Updated October 24, 2022. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Government Shutdown

“Government Shutdowns Q&A: Everything You Should Know.” February 26, 2024. Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Omnibus Bills

“$900B COVID relief bill passed by Congress, sent to Trump.” Andrew Taylor. December 22, 2020. AP News.


“$315 Million Bridge to Nowhere.” February 9, 2005. Taxpayers for Common Sense. Retrieved from the Wayback Machine version from October 25, 2008.

What Happens Next

“Congress takes first step on funding deal.” Jamie Dupree. March 5, 2024. Regular Order.

Audio Sources

Impact of Continuing Resolutions on the Department of Defense and Services

House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Defense
January 12, 2022

Watch on YouTube


  • Mike McCord, Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)


29:51 Mike McCord: First, as I believe you’re all aware a full year CR, we reduce our funding level below what we requested and what we believe we need. On the surface at the department level as a whole, the reduction to our accounts would appear to be about a billion dollars below our request, which would be significant. Even if that was the only impact. The actual reduction in practice will be much greater. Because we would have significant funding that’s misaligned, trapped or frozen in the wrong places and unusable because we don’t have the tools or flexibilities to realign funds on anything like the scam we would need to fix all the problems that the chiefs are going to describe.

30:27 Mike McCord: I know all of you are very familiar with the fact that virtually all military construction projects in each year’s budget including the FY 22 budget are new starts that cannot be executed under a CR.


Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito


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Production Assistance

Clare Kuntz Balcer