Don’t look for a “full” 2018 appropriations measure anytime soon.  Congressional leaders are still trying to hammer out a top line number for a catch-all appropriations bill and the required process even after a deal is struck means that it will be late February at the earliest before there is a chance of a real appropriations measure.  Don’t expect DOD to get special early treatment in the next CR extension, either, as total DOD spending is they key sticking point in negotiations.  The current CR ends on January 19th.  While a deal is expected to be struck, appropriations experts believe it will take about a month to work out the details on specific spending accounts once a top line number is agreed upon.  This is not good news for contractors hoping to get new projects started in the near-term.  DOD, and other customers that rely upon appropriated dollars, are largely running in place on anything other than absolutely essential projects.  The best news is that, once an agreement is reached, that there will likely be substantially more DOD money for the last 6-7 months of the year.  It is still time to lay the groundwork for important projects so that work can begin as soon as possible on projects you’ve been following.