MONEY FOR NEW STARTS AT RISK DUE TO SOCIAL SPENDING ISSUES
Planned Parenthood and related social spending issues could derail the timely passage of the omnibus appropriations bill that is expected to fund the government through the remainder of FY’18. The existing Continuing Resolution (CR) expires March 23rd and, while initial expectations were that there would be an official spending measure by that time, issues like the current Planned Parenthood impasse keep cropping up and could, indeed, jeopardize a permanent appropriations measure. While this news is certainly frustrating, it is not entirely surprising. The bill is considered a “must pass” measure and, as such, numerous Congressional factions are seeking to gain riders or other special favors in exchange for their votes. Any final passage will now likely come down to the wire. It is possible that all, or part, of the government could be funded past March 23rd by another CR. Any CR enacted at that time would last for at least 2-3 weeks as Congress is scheduled to leave town on the 23rd for Easter Recess. This could further delay the start of new projects requiring appropriated funds. In addition, at least some feds Allen Federal has spoken with are not ruling out the possibility of a shutdown, something that only acts a distraction from even planning for new business. Contractors will have to watch this space for the full two more weeks until March 23rd rolls around.