MOST SIGNS STILL POINT TO APPROPRIATIONS, BUT STIMULUS FUTURE UNCLEAR
Despite predictions that the government will see a Continuing Resolution into the 2021 calendar year from former Rep. Tom Davis this week, odds are still in favor of an omnibus appropriations measure being passed by Christmas. While the President has been silent on this, and many other matters, both House and Senate leadership are committed to having a final FY’21 appropriations measure passed and have stated that they do not want a long-term CR. Bloomberg Government reported November 19th that White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows indicated that the White House “wants a bill”. That’s good news for contractors and their government customers. A deal on a stimulus package appears more uncertain, however, as the President is backing away from pre-election statements indicating that such a measure would be a post-election priority. The administration appears to be looking to Congress to create a final package, whereas they had previously been an active part of the negotiations. This is a mixed bag for contractors. On one hand, there is little in the way of direct spending in a stimulus bill that would be potentially actionable for such companies. On the other, smaller businesses that had previously taken out payroll protection loans are awaiting information on potential loan forgiveness or favorable pay-back terms that are reported to be in the stimulus measure. Whatever happens, expect action to come at the last minute. The most likely scenario on the appropriations front is for there to be a short-term CR to keep the government open after December 11th while an omnibus package is finalized. Passage could come less than a week before Christmas. Stay tuned.