July 25, 2023

Open Letter to Congress:

Supplemental Spending to Bypass Spending Caps Premature

On behalf of the undersigned free-market organizations, we urge all members of Congress to oppose efforts to use an emergency defense supplemental spending package to circumvent spending caps established by the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023.

Even before President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan debt ceiling deal, some senators floated the idea of using supplemental spending to bypass the agreement and increase Pentagon spending above the 3.3 percent growth rate already agreed to for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024. This is objectionable for many reasons:

  1. Admiral Michael Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, famously remarked, “[t]he most significant threat to our national security is our debt.” Since that statement, made nearly 13 years ago, the national debt has climbed by more than $19 trillion. Rather than exacerbating wasteful spending, lawmakers should take his warning to heart and aggressively pursue savings and systemic reforms to strengthen our fiscal position and bolster our national security.

Spurning a carefully negotiated agreement in the absence of a true and dire emergency sets a poor precedent and undermines our ability to address looming fiscal challenges. It is crucial that Congress abide by the modest limits it established for itself.

To that end, we urge members to oppose proposals for a defense supplemental or other emergency spending that would breach spending caps in the wake of the just-passed Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023. Any additional funds for well-defined, true emergencies that fall outside the appropriations process should be fully paid for with offsets to avoid adding to our unaffordable debt.


R Street Institute
60 Plus Association
Americans for Prosperity
Americans for Tax Reform
Concerned Veterans for America
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
National Taxpayers Union
Rio Grande Foundation
Taxpayers for Common Sense
Taxpayers Protection Alliance