MORE PEOPLE ARE BETTING ON A YEAR-LONG CR FOR MOST AGENCIES
Federal managers, Congressional watchers, and even some contractors are beginning to sense that the entire 2017 government fiscal year will largely be funded by a series of Continuing Resolutions. With the turmoil surrounding confirmation of appointees, potential action on the Affordable Healthcare Act, and other factors in play, it appears increasingly likely that there will be no formal appropriations bills for most of the executive branch. Only the Department of Veterans Affairs, the legislative branch, and military construction accounts currently have appropriated money. It is probable that DOD will see some sort of “supplemental” measure in mid-Spring, but whether that just injects more money into the agency or actually takes the form of an official appropriation remains uncertain. The difference for contractors, and DOD, is vital as a formal appropriations action will allow the agency to initiate new programs. All civilian agencies, save the VA, will likely have to make do with maintaining existing programs or seek financial work-arounds to start vital new projects. The current CR is in effect through late April, meaning that Congress will have to do something by then to ensure feds even have CR dollars to spend. At least no one is talking about a shutdown, for now.