EXPECT THE CR TO BE A VERY LARGE “CHRISTMAS TREE”
The Continuing Resolution (CR) being crafted to keep the government open, most likely until mid-December, will have all sorts of extra items added to it, making it a classic “Christmas Tree” measure with multiple lights and ornaments. Contractors may want to track matters such as additional spending for Ukraine, disaster relief assistance, and domestic energy permit expediting as there may be future business opportunities with any or all of these. The administration would also like to add $22.4 billion for additional COVID relief, but Congressional Republicans are unlikely to go along with that request. The CR will also very likely have several smaller riders attached to it. Contractors may want to consider reaching out to their elected officials on current needs, such as inflation relief, that could potentially be added to the must-pass measure. While DOD is reportedly working on updated inflation-related guidance, a lack of additional funding will create multiple “rob Peter to pay Paul” scenarios on various Pentagon projects. While the energy permitting language may draw fire from progressives, it is significant that no one in Congress is seriously talking about the prospect of a government shutdown. While Congress may have to pass a short-term CR to iron out details of a longer measure, the government should remain open. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stated that he hopes to pass an omnibus appropriations bill that would fund all agencies for the remainder of FY’23 in mid-December. That would be good news for contractors and their government partners. Contractors, however, should continue to monitor this matter as details have a way of derailing original plans.