SEPTEMBER SHUTDOWN – TO BE OR NOT TO BE?
If it’s August there must be talk of a government shutdown. President Trump appeared to put Congressional Republicans at ease last week saying he would not hold the government hostage over funding for a border wall. That position may have changed this week, though, with new tweets coming from the White House. Writing on his “Budget Guy” blog, budget expert Stan Collender strongly infers that this will be the President’s last, best chance at forcing funding for one of his top priority programs. As such, he is likely to fight for it now. Expect the fight to come down to the last minute, creating a distraction for federal agencies and contractors as they try to conduct business during their busiest time of year. With two months to go, Allen Federal believes that there is at least a 60%-40% chance that the government will shut down at the start of the next fiscal year. It could also be a long shut down. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has stated that he is not in favor of a shutdown, and neither are most Congressional Republicans. This means that Congress may have to override any Presidential veto of a Continuing Resolution, a tall order with slim majorities and members who feel they owe their seat to supporting the President. The President, meanwhile, is probably less sensitive to the fate of his party’s legislative representatives than most of his predecessors. The start of FY’19 could be rocky indeed. Be prepared