Speculation is growing that the next Congress, likely to have at least one chamber controlled by Republicans, may shift Pentagon spending to match new political priorities.  That could make early 2023 an interesting time for defense contractors as FY’23 appropriation allocations are worked out by new leaders.  Contractors should engage with newly elected officials and committee chairs early on to ensure that there are no unpleasant surprises.  Congress has a history of telling the Pentagon where it thinks defense dollars should be spent, regardless of where military leadership might like it to be applied.  The newest round of conflict is already upon us with some current Republican House members pushing back on DOD’s plans to remove F-15 fighters from Japanese bases in favor of a rotational program.  A recent Bloomberg Government article said that the “dysfunction” could create “uncertainty (that) may impede both national security and defense business planning, even as the US is shifting military resources and technology to better stifle China’s ambitions in the Indo-Pacific region.”  Defense spending decisions will take place across a broader backdrop of discussions to reign in overall discretionary, and perhaps mandatory, spending and whether to increase the debt limit.  A shift in party control of one or both houses of Congress will likely result in a push for spending cuts in exchange for a ceiling increase.  Defense plans and operations may be disrupted if disagreements take weeks to resolve.  Contractors should anticipate the action to start as early as mid-January, with new committee chairs being elected even before then.  Elections absolutely do have consequences.  Make sure your company is prepared.