McKeon Group continues to monitor the Federal appropriations process on behalf of all our clients. As we near the end of the first quarter of fiscal year 2017 (FY17), there is still no budget in place. This has become the unfortunate norm.

With Presidential politics now behind us, all would prefer “regular order” to prevail, but it continues to elude Congress as it appears now to be debating not a final budget resolution or the passage of individual appropriation bills, but for how long the current continuing resolution (CR) should be extended.

Currently set to expire on December 9, 2016, everything is pointing to an extension until March 31, 2017. An extension until the end of March has the practical effect of allowing one of two options:

  1. The incoming Administration to immediately influence spending priorities for the remainder of fiscal year 2017, providing just enough time to evaluate programs and effectuate change that it deems to be immediately necessary.
  2. It provides ample time for the new Administration to view the landscape and just let FY17 “play out”, maybe extending the CR until the end of FY17, maintaining programs at their current funding levels.

It needs to be noted, however, that the CR relates only to discretionary spending. Recent, high profile, discussions have focused on many government programs that would impact the mandatory side of the ledger. We will await those developments and watch the impact in the next budget request.

For now, the expectation is that the government will remain open and functioning at its current levels through the end of March, 2017. But, Congress can be unpredictable. While full consideration of the remaining 11 spending bills in a full “omnibus,” spending package seems to fall toward the extreme at this point, we absolutely know that Congress is readily prepared for every option that Leadership decides. And, we’ll track every one of those options as they develop.