SHORT TERM CR LIKELY AS CONGRESS LEAVES TOWN
Although the government doesn’t run out of money until April 28th, there are only four legislative days between now and then for Congress to pass a planned-for omnibus spending bill. No deal is yet finalized and it now looks increasingly likely that a short-term CR, perhaps into the first week of May, will be required to keep all agencies, except the VA and military construction accounts, funded. Congress does intend to pass a catch-all, omnibus measure to fund all agencies that currently do not have formal appropriated dollars, but debate over whether such a measure should include other features, such as increased defense spending proposed in the President’s budget, are holding up a final accord. It does not currently look like the omnibus will include any of the President’s planned increases or decreases. Uncertainty of this type is not good for business as agencies must plan for worst-case scenarios, taking time away from acquisition and other functions. Contractors can expect an uneven pace of business the closer we get to the end of the month. The entire situation will likely remain in limbo until the last minute. If, though, Congress does pass an omnibus, storm clouds could quickly clear and lead to a solid year-end.