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Government Contracting News: Congress Poised to Setup Showdown Between Appropriations and Impeachment

Written on November 18, 2019

The Continuing Resolution currently funding government agencies would be extended from November 22nd to December 20th under a deal being considered by House and Senate appropriators.  While that’s good news in terms of keeping the government open, the expiration date of the extension will likely coincide with a House vote on impeachment.  This could most definitely throw a political wrench into spending and opens the possibility that the government could shut down right before Christmas.  Optimists believe that the extended time may allow for packages of two to three appropriations bills at a time to pass. The bills that contain border funding money and other controversial projects would not be included.  Others believe that the Senate would be unlikely to go along with nearly any measure to keep the government open as a protest over a House impeachment vote.  Government contractors and their customers can only watch as the various scenarios unfold.  The closer the government comes to running out of money, the more your customers will have to focus on their Continuity of Operations planning.  This means reduced time for contractor discussions and a generally slower pace of business due to both the distraction this process brings and the fact that agencies are still funded by temporary money that cannot be used for new project starts.  It is difficult to predict how much impeachment proceedings will truly impact spending bills.  The two issues have rarely coincided over the course of history.  There is also rhetoric on all sides that would support virtually any scenario.

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