STORM CLOUDS BREWING AT END OF FY
If you thought that the start of the 2016 fiscal year would go off without a hitch, think again. While Congress has done a significant amount of work on appropriations bills, it increasingly seems as if the political points that could be gained by picking fights with the Administration are too juicy for Congressional leaders to pass up. Various proposals, including passing a Continuing Resolution at “sequestration levels” are currently being discussed. Whether or not that happens, it seems certain that FY’16 will start under some sort of CR, if it starts on time. The possible timing of a debt ceiling vote or an issue designed to stake out policy ground in advance of next year’s Presidential election could trigger a possible shut down. Like it or not, the start of each new fiscal year has become an occasion to try and hold all or part of the government hostage for some attempted political gain. Hopes had been high earlier in the year given the high rate at which the House had acted on spending bills. Little actual work would need to be done on appropriations bills to start FY 2016 starting on time. October, however, is in the throes of football season and games of political football are destined to be part of the landscape as well. Close FY’15 strong and watch closely for what develops – or not – after that.