CONGRESS KEEPS GOVERNMENT OPEN, STILL WORKING ON FINAL BILL
Congress passed a short-term spending measure late last week, keeping the government open and functioning through Wednesday the 16th. Although a short-term fix is never ideal, leaders expect to have a final omnibus appropriations measure ready by that time. There is no current realistic discussion of a shut-down. If a final bill is ready to go, appropriations would be provided for all agencies for the remainder of the fiscal year. Such an action would remove current restrictions on new project starts and enable agencies to plan better. There will be few funding surprises in the measure, but any degree of surety is a good thing. Contractors should note that it takes a while for OMB to set category-specific funding and pass back final numbers for each operational account. As such, your agency customer may not get its official budget number until early January. If, however, your customer tells you in late February that they still don’t have their number, what they’re really telling you is to look elsewhere for business.