CONGRESS PASSES CR THROUGH 3/23 + FRAMEWORK FOR DEAL
The federal government will remain open through March 23rd under a Continuing Resolution passed by Congress last Friday morning. While the deal did not include full year appropriations for the Department of Defense, it did create an overall deal on spending numbers for the next two years. The details of a spending package for the rest of the 2018 fiscal year will be put together between now and March 23rd and a final appropriations bill will likely be passed about that time. The Department of Defense would have an extra $160 billion to spend over the next two years above previously budgeted amounts. This should help address Pentagon concerns over readiness, training, and maintenance issues. Civilian agencies will also get $128 billion more over two years. From now until whenever a final appropriations measure passes, however, it will be business as usual at federal agencies. The deal tells about what will come in the future, not what will happen next week. Agency customers are still unable to initiate new projects that require appropriated dollars. There is a light, though, at the end of the tunnel. Should Congress pass a final measure on or about March 23rd, individual offices would have budget numbers around May 1st, nearly a month more than last year. It will again be a busy end of the fiscal year.