DHS, COMMERCE, OTHERS FACING POTENTIAL SHUT-DOWN
Although well over half of FY’19’s discretionary spending has been appropriated, many agencies are operating under a Continuing Resolution that expires at midnight December 7th. If Congress can’t agree to a deal by then, most of those agencies will run out of money and close down. The agency in this category of greatest interest to contractors is the Department of Homeland Security. It’s no surprise that the federal agency so closely tied to a possible border wall would become a political football. In addition, however, the Departments of Commerce, State, Justice and Transportation are among those facing a similar fate. Congressional leaders are currently working on a package that would give full year appropriations to Interior, Agriculture, Transportation, HUD, and certain financial service operations. This is a distraction for your federal customer, who must plan for a shut-down in case there actually is one. This takes away time from working with industry and, at holiday time, can cause increasing tension as employees face the possibility of not being paid. The most likely scenario as of now: The “mini-bus” package will be approved, but funding for DHS and others will come right down to the wire. Expect at least one, and probably more, short-term CR’s as well, extending this drama into December and close to Christmas.