HOW LONG WILL THE CR BE? WILL THERE BE A STIMULUS BILL?
While there is an agreement in concept to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) to start off the 2021 Fiscal Year, there is, as yet, no agreement on the length, nor on whether another pandemic-related stimulus bill will pass along with it. Many Republicans are seeking a CR that keeps the government open into sometime in mid-December. This is consistent with conventional thinking that final FY’21 appropriations could be finalized by Christmas. Democrats, though, may want a shorter bill as it will provide additional opportunities to point up differences on policy matters between the two parties. There is also no agreement on whether a new pandemic relief bill will pass, or, if it does, how large it could be. An attempt last week to pass a comparatively smaller measure, less than the $2 billion some elected officials have called for, failed in the Senate. This can all be a distraction for contractors. We’ve said before that a new relief measure would likely be a net negative for contractors as it would impact out-year spending and create a larger future bill that would drag down many sectors of the economy, including government contracting. The good news is that no political leader is discussing a shut-down. It is highly probable that a CR will be passed that will fund the government at least through the November election, if not longer. That provides some level of stability for business. The outlook for a relief bill is much more problematic. It may well be that each party would rather have the issue to use on the campaign trail and not an actual bill. Regardless, companies should not get distracted over pandemic-relief “what if’s”, especially at year end. We will keep you posted on changes that demand your attention.