Quick Hit What It Means September 8, 2015 Congress returns today Here’s the quick rundown:
The Grinding Gears of CongressThe House and Senate continue to tout their individual successes, passing legislation that either won’t or can’t survive the environment of the other chamber:
FY 16 Authorizations and Appropriations — not yet on the same pageWe’re likely to see a compromise end game sometime in November that offers some sequester relief, but that also requires DoD to find as much as 19B (worst case) in cuts from what the President requested for FY16.
Headlines Suggest Appropriations Progress – Is it Real? We will continue to see appropriations bills move through the process and pass with Republican majorities; however, a fundamental challenge of dealing with Budget Control Act (BCA) caps will bring the process to a halt in September.
While the world watched for royal baby news, beltway insiders continued to track the FY16 Budget process. Finally, a Budget deal has been agreed — but primarily agreed by Republicans. The House passed the measure last week, largely along party lines (226-197) .
Deal or No Deal ? Congress departed for the Easter recess period with a budget resolution nearly finally agreed – they planned to return from recess and quickly complete the “reconciliation” conference that would be passed with a simple majority in the Senate as opposed to the 60 vote threshold.
March madness has a different feel on Capitol Hill – this year it has been about getting to an agreed budget. Principally at issue was whether or not Congress would adhere to sequestration “caps” required by the Budget Control Act of 2011.
FY16 President’s Budget delivered: The President’s base defense budget ignores the $499B sequester cap and requests $535B for the base budget and $51B for OCO. Congress must now determine how it will respond to the request. Hearing season is underway.
Are you aligned to the year’s opportunities? Did your anticipated FY15 funding survive the final Cromnibus maneuvering in December? What budget years fund your programs? Your plan with federal customers is really a multi-year plan.
Update on where we are today with defense bills: NDAA passed the House this week 300-119, authorizing $585B, split as roughly $521B for defense and $64B for Overseas Contingency Ops. The authorization bill is the result of a House/Senate conference and should pass the Senate easily as soon as next week.