Defense Business Brief: Happy fiscal New Year; Lower F-35 production rates; Rolls-Royce wins B-52 re-engine contract and more.

Happy (fiscal) New Year!

The government has money, for now at least, thanks to an 11th-hour continuing resolution passed by Congress and signed by President Biden on Thursday, fiscal New Year’s Eve, if you will. This marks the 12th time in 13 years that Congress has been unable to pass a budget in time. A reminder: Spending is now frozen at fiscal 2021 levels, meaning the defense budget stays flat and the Pentagon cannot begin any new programs.

How did we get here? Well, it didn’t help that the Biden administration submitted its fiscal 2022 budget proposal to lawmakers on May 28, the latest any administration has ever done so.

Right now, lawmakers are trying to pass two spending bills: President Biden’s $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and a separate $3.5 trillion so-called social safety net bill. Progressive and moderate Democrats are at odds over the size of the latter bill.

Key dates: Oct. 18 is when the U.S. is expected to hit the…

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