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US industry groups urge fast passage of defence funding bill

The US Capitol building. (Getty Images)

Two US industry groups – the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) – have urged Congress to quickly finish work on its overdue fiscal year (FY) 2022 defence appropriations bill, stating that the legislation is critical to national security and the health of the defence industrial base.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) and other federal agencies are funded by a temporary measure called a continuing resolution (CR) because lawmakers have not passed their 12 regular appropriations bills for FY 2022, which began on 1 October. CRs are problematic, partly because they generally prevent the DoD from starting new programmes or increasing production rates, AIA and NDIA wrote in letters to lawmakers in early November.

“Our nation's competitors face no similar challenges, putting us at a competitive disadvantage, particularly with emerging technologies, and placing our supply chains at increasing risk, something we cannot afford after the nearly two years of pandemic impacts,” NDIA wrote.

Disagreement over funding levels and other issues has delayed completion of the appropriations bills. With the current CR scheduled to expire on 3 December, Congress is reportedly considering passing another CR to keep the government funded for another two weeks or two to three months.

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