While last-minute Continuing Resolutions are common at the end of each fiscal year in the current era, the questions on whether Congress will allow a government shutdown continue to swirl.  While some continue to consult the Lares and the Penates, here are three possible scenarios that contractors should prepare for as of now.

1A Short-Term CR Passes in Time Without A Shutdown:  This is the most optimistic scenario and may be the one that actually plays out.  House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is floating a 10-day CR with the hope that the time could be used to clear a path for a longer-term measure.  Final appropriations could be passed by the end of the calendar year with minimal interruption to government business.

2.  A Shutdown of Unknown Length:  More and more Congress watchers believe that this is an actual possibility.  They point to the inability of the House to bring even the popular DOD appropriations bill to the floor for consideration, as well as the continued objections of the House Freedom Caucus to spending levels.  Some believe that, should a shutdown occur, it could be several weeks long.

3.  A Short-Term CR Followed By a Shutdown:  This newer scenario has been openly discussed in Congressional media outlets this week.  Under this scenario, Congress would pass a short-term CR, likely the 10-day version supported by the Speaker but would then be unable to pass another funding measure as debate over spending levels continues to prevent the passage of a measure in the House.  A shutdown of unknown length would occur until such time as a majority of votes could be identified in the House to pass a longer-term spending measure.  There does not seem to be any desire for a shutdown in the Senate, placing all of the action in the House.  Contractors should keep a close eye on what unfolds here and definitely plan for any of the above scenarios.