As we’ve remained appropriately distant, government functions have mostly continued. In bullet format, a few quick updates:

    • The Senate has remained in “pro-forma” session, thereby preventing President Trump from making recess appointments to positions that otherwise require Senate confirmation. President Trump has indicated he’ll make appointments and resolve it in court
    • The Senate has delayed its full return from April 20th to May 4th. There are procedural work arounds that allow agreeable legislation to pass with limited member presence.
    • The House has officially delayed the original FY21 appropriations markup schedule, although staff level review has been ongoing for weeks.
    • The House Armed Services Committee markup of the FY21 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has been delayed from April into May.
    • Additional funds to be applied to the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) will be included in a “small” stimulus to be passed imminently. This imminent bill is referred to colloquially as “stimulus 3.5”… recall there have been 3 stimulus bills prior to this. $349 billion of initial PPP funds were exhausted quickly and were not equitably distributed to community banks and credit unions. Democrats have been maneuvering for additional funding in a variety of their priority programs.
    • There are multiple additional stimulus bills being prepared at the committee level, referred to as “stimulus 4” and “stimulus 5.” President Trump has indicated that stimulus 4 should be a “massive” infrastructure bill; Congress has yet to indicate agreement with that being the next priority.
    • FY20 reprogramming.  As with any other year, funds that are not obligating as planned are being evaluated for a reprogramming to be applied elsewhere. In the best of circumstances, the mid-year reprogramming amounts to billions of dollars in motion. This year, expect that number to be double or triple the “norm.” Are you ready to put suddenly available funds on contract now? Does your government customer know?
    • FY 21 legislation will proceed. While hearings won’t look the same, review of PB21 continues. Look for that legislation to move on a non-standard timeline – but it will proceed.
    • What’s happening with FY22? This is normally the time when agencies are finalizing priorities for FY22 that will move to OMB by December.  If you are not communicating with your government customer regularly, you are missing a unique opportunity. Don’t lay low because you think your customer is laying low. They are not.
      • Late breaking POM rumors. Defense media lit up with word of delays in traditional budget timelines. Don’t get caught up in it yet. Stay close to your customer. The process will continue, the dates are just adjusting internally. This slippage will be over-reported because it’s news and it’s different.
      • Bottom line to remember – Budgets inform bills.  There will be an FY22 budget request to Congress. There will be an FY22 appropriations cycle.