While six of the twelve FY’23 spending bills are ready for a House floor vote, progress on the defense and Homeland Security measures is still lagging.  According to a summary provided by Bloomberg Government, appropriators are unsure of whether progress on these bills, or a floor vote on the six-pack “minibus” will take place by the end of next week, when the House is scheduled to go on summer recess until after Labor Day.  Even less progress is reported in the Senate where, despite action on FY’23 spending measures, Senate Democrats reportedly have yet to engage their Republican colleagues.  That’s a recipe for confrontation given their slim majority.  Contractors can see some signs of hope, however, as total defense spending, whenever Congress gets around to passing it, should exceed the President’s initial budget request. The Senate Defense Authorization bill, for example, included $45 billion in additional spending, an amount that one appropriator called “a good start”.  That would mean more money for both personnel and projects.  Of the measures included in the House minibus, contractors may be most interested in the VA-Military Construction measure.  Expect more money in that vehicle as well, as appropriators seek to modernize defense installations and provide easier access to benefits for veterans.  A continuing resolution is a certainty for the start of the 2023 Fiscal Year, but work done to date on final bills may mean that Congress will act before the end of the calendar year.  That timeframe could be considered the new “on-time” baseline, giving contractors and their customers more time to plan and address strategic needs.