Government Shutdown News

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12/7/18 - President Signs Two-Week Spending Bill
President Donald Trump signed a two-week spending measure Friday that will avert a partial government shutdown, setting up a high-stakes meeting with congressional Democratic leaders who are opposed to his $5 billion border wall funding demand.

12/6/18 - Congress sends two-week funding measure to the White House 
The Senate passed a continuing resolution by a voice vote hours after it was approved in the House on Thursday. President Trump will need to sign it by the end of the day Friday to prevent a partial government shutdown. The resolution punts the funding deadline from Dec. 7 to Dec. 21, a week after Congress’s initial get-out-of-town date of Dec. 14.

12/4/18 - Congress Set to Pass Two-Week Stopgap Measure This Week to Avoid Partial Shutdown 
Federal agencies appear likely to receive stopgap funding at the end of the week, with lawmakers and the White House signaling they need more time to avoid a partial government shutdown. Negotiations over full year funding for fiscal 2019 were stalled by the death of President George H.W. Bush.

9/28/18 - Trump Signs Spending Bill to Stave Off Shutdown Until December
President Trump on Sept. 28 signed into law a spending bill that will provide full-year appropriations for several federal agencies—Defense, Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services—and stopgap funding for a portion of government, staving off a partial shutdown at least until December.

 
9/26/18 - Trump says he'll avert government shutdown
President Donald Trump on Wednesday committed to signing an $852 billion funding bill that would avert a partial government shutdown on midnight on Sunday. The bill funds the Pentagon along with key domestic agencies, and includes a stopgap spending provision to keep the rest of the government open through Dec. 7.
 
9/21/18 - Trump signs first 'minibus' spending package for 2019
President Trump on Friday signed into law a package of three spending bills for 2019, temporarily setting aside a veto threat that could have shut down the government. The $147 billion package covered military construction and veterans affairs, the legislative branch, and energy and water.
 
9/20/18 - Senate backs bill to avert shutdown, boost military spending
The Senate on Sep. 18 approved a wide-ranging, $854 billion bill that funds the military and a host of civilian agencies for the next year and provides a short-term fix to keep the government open through early December. The measure includes $675 billion for the Defense Department and approves spending for Health and Human Services, Education, Labor and other agencies.

9/13/18
Lawmakers: Deal in the Works to Avoid Shutdown
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said lawmakers intend to enact a Continuing Resolution to fund part of the government until at least December 7. Congress sent a "minibus" appropriations package to the President on September 13 to provide full-year funding for the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Energy and related agencies, as well as  the legislative branch. The CR is expected to get tacked onto a second minibus, containing full-year funding for the departments of Defense, Labor, and Health and Human Services.

Congress sends first spending package to Trump in push to avert shutdown
The House passed a $147 billion "minibus" spending package Thursday and sent it to President Trump for a signature, taking initial steps to avert another possible government shutdown. The legislation, which makes up approximately 12 percent of overall 2019 spending, was passed by a bipartisan vote of 377-20. The Senate overwhelmingly passed an identical bill Wednesday evening, and the White House has indicated that Trump will sign the measure.

8/27/18 - Contractors Hoping Congress Can Avoid Shutdown Despite New DoD Initiative
The Senate passed several appropriations bills last week, putting it on rough par with the House. Contractors are hopeful the government can avoid the worst of the shutdowns and endless CRs. But another looming issue is a DoD initiative known as "Deliver Uncompromised" that could really affect contracting. David Berteau, PSC President and CEO, shares more.

8/15/18 - Shutdown Advice for Contractors: If a Stop-Work Order Comes, Stop Work
While Congress has made progress on its 12 annual appropriations bills, with only 11 legislative days remaining in the fiscal year, PSC urged federal contractors to prepare for the possibility of a continuing resolution or government shutdown, and be ready to stop work if told to do so.

8/15/18 - How to prepare for the unknown: a contractor’s guide to government shutdown planning
As 2018’s two brief government shutdowns taught us, it’s nearly impossible to plan for the confusion that comes with the annual dash to fund the federal government past Sept. 30 and beyond. PSC advised contractors to carefully consider the potential implications of a CR or government shutdown, including which work and employees would be impacted and how they can mitigate the consequences of funding instability. 

8/15/18 - Budget uncertainty is routine. What makes 2018 different?
Continuing resolutions and funding uncertainty are staples of appropriations cycles. But there are some factors that make fiscal year 2018 different from years past. During a CR and shutdown preparation webinar, PSC told participants that the magnitude of FY18 appropriations, the limited time remaining to expend them, the looming midterm elections, and the administration's seeming reluctance to spend some available funds, raise some new and unusual questions about federal spending. 

8/15/18 - Could a continuing resolution save the Tech Modernization Fund in 2019?
While the House and Senate continue to hammer out the details of how much money the Technology Modernization Fund will receive in fiscal 2019, the weapon of choice for financing the government for the past dozen years could be a way to sidestep the appropriators — the continuing resolution. While it's unlikely that Congress will pass all 12 appropriations bills ahead of Sept. 30, raisining the likelihood of a CR, PSC President & CEO said it's possible the TMF could secure additional funding under a CR.
3/23/18 - Omnibus Provides $1.3 Trillion to Fund Government through September 30
On March 23, Congress passed, and the president signed, an omnibus appropriations act to fund the federal government at $1.3 trillion through the balance of Fiscal Year 2018. The omnibus includes roughly $700 billion for defense and $591 billion for domestic programs, increases of $66 billion and $52 billion, respectively, over 2017 spending levels. 

2/9/18 -  PSC Welcomes FY18 Congressional Budget Deal; Awaits President’s FY19 Request 
PSC welcomed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which was passed by Congress and signed by the president this morning. This bill will enable the enactment of appropriations to fund both defense and non-defense missions. Read more.

2/9/18 - Congress Passes Delayed Budget Deal Ending Hours-Long Shutdown
Congress passed a two-year budget agreement that will boost federal spending by almost $300 billion and suspend the debt ceiling for a year, ending a brief partial government shutdown that began at midnight when lawmakers missed a funding deadline. The 240-186 House vote overcame opposition from many Democrats and a faction of GOP conservatives. The Senate passed the bill hours earlier, 71-28. The measure now goes to the president for signature. 

1/29/18 - Federal Government shutdown, continuing resolutions (CRs), and what contractors need to do
Beth Wingate, President of PSC member company Lohfeld Consulting Group, highlights contractor resources for addressing government shutdowns

1/22/18 - How Government Contractors Can Protect Themselves During a Government Shutdown
PSC member firm Arnold & Porter published an advisory for government contractors facing a government shutdown, including if and when they must stop performance, how contractors may be reimbursed for work performed and costs incurred during the shutdown, and how they can save money during a shutdown without running afoul of applicable labor laws.

1/22/18 - Shutdown Ends after President Signs Short-Term Spending Bill
After three days of contentious negotiations, Congress voted to end a government shutdown on January 22, with President Trump signing the bill that evening.

1/22/18 - A Message from PSC President & CEO David Berteau: The Government Shutdown Continues (members only)
Senate leaders adjourned Sunday night without reaching a budget deal, announcing that they will hold a vote on the budget at noon today, thus, the government shutdown remains intact for now. It is yet unclear whether it will extend into the days to come. Here is what we are doing and saying at PSC, including an action list for government contractors during a government shutdown and a  press release highlighting the negative impact of a shutdown on government missions, military personnel and civilian workers, and on the services contractors who support them.  

1/21/18 - Shutdown continues, but quick end possibly in sight
As the government shutdown enters its third day, the Senate will begin key procedural votes at noon on Jan. 22 to temporarily restore funding. Those votes will come as many furloughed feds are finishing four-hour shifts to wind down non-essential operations. PSC has advised contractors to report to work unless told otherwise, a message echoed by DHS guidance. 

1/21/18 - What federal contractors should do during the government shutdown
Government employees aren’t the only ones who are wondering what they’ll be doing on Monday if Congress can’t reach a budget agreement, federal contractors are also facing a lot of uncertainty. While there are many variables at play, PSC President & CEO David Berteau told WTOP there are a few ways contractors can use time away from federal job sites productively, such as annual ethics training or other required overhead expenses. 

1/19/18 - The real cost of CRs and shutdowns
PSC members Bob Lohfeld (CEO of Lohfeld Consulting) and Simon Szykman (CTO of Attain) discuss continuing resolutions and shutdowns with Mark Amtower on Federal News Radio.

1/19/18 - Government Contractor Shutdown Advisory
PSC members Justin A. Chiarodo and Albert Krachman of Blank Rome LLP offer six suggestions to help address key areas impacted by a shutdown, including contract funding, internal and external communications, recordkeeping, and deadlines.

1/19/18 - Notification to DHS Contractors about a Potential Lapse in Funding
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted to FBO.gov a notice for industry "to advise the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) contractor community of the DHS plans regarding actions that may be necessary in the event that contract funding is affected by a lapse in appropriations."

1/19/18 - Agencies Prep for Shutdown
With hopes for a temporary funding bill dwindling, agencies are preparing to shutter operations, taking their cues from OMB, individual agency guidance and OPM policy. One area that will be a priority in the event of a shutdown is cybersecurity. PSC Executive Vice President & Counsel Alan Chvotkin told FCW that while this emphasis is important, contractors would benefit from more communication from agencies, and advised companies to "keep working until the government tells you to stop."

1/19/18 - Impact of a shutdown on contractors means lost wages, project delays    
Government contractors are often overlooked when it comes to the threat of a government shutdown. And as the most current threat becomes more and more real, many are waiting for guidance from their agency customers. PSC President & CEO David Berteau told Federal News Radio that communication is key to mitigating the worst effects of a government shutdown for federal contractors. 

1/19/18 - Everything You Need to Know about a Government Shutdown
As the federal government edges closer to its first shutdown since 2013, the Washington Post offers answers to common questions about the impact of a government shutdown on federal employees, government contractors, and American citizens. 

1/19/18 - DoD Issues Guidance for Potential Government Shutdown
The Defense Department has issued guidance to its military and civilian leadership on how to proceed if the federal government should shut down at midnight tonight, according to a January 18, 2018  memorandum from Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan.

1/18/18 - Nonfederal workers may also be impacted by shutdown
It's not just federal employees who are bracing for word that they need to stay home because their offices have been locked. In many cases, sitting alongside thousands of federal employees are government contractors whose ability to work could be in limbo depending on what happens on Capitol Hill today. PSC president and CEO David Berteau weighs in. 

1/5/18 - A Government Shutdown Doesn’t Always Mean Shutting Down IT
Government shutdowns are stressful times for federal employees--especially when they aren’t sure whether they are among those excepted employees expected to come into work. For IT staff, this can be particularly murky, as technology is linked to critical agency missions.

In its 2013 guidance for creating shutdown contingency plans, OMB addressed the issue directly, stating that IT operations and supporting employees can only continue “if they are excepted activities under the Antideficiency Act, or where their continuation is necessarily implied from a congressional authorization or appropriation of other continued functions.”

Which functions would remain operational during a shutdown varies from agency to agency and office to office. To cut through some of the confusion, and provide a comparison of contingency plans, here’s a look at how major federal agencies plan to deal with IT during a shutdown.

 12/21/17 - Congress Clears Funding Bill, Staving off Shutdown
Congress passed a short-term government funding bill ensuring that Washington will not face a shutdown just days before Christmas. The Continuing Resolution will keep federal agencies open through Jan. 19, giving congressional leaders and President Donald Trump another month to hash out a long-term spending deal for the remainder of fiscal year 2018.

12/7/17 - Congress Passes Continuing Resolution, Pushes Back Shutdown Deadline by Two Weeks
Congress has approved a measure to keep the federal government open for two weeks, although the prospect of a longer-term spending deal remains unclear. The Senate voted 81-14 for the stopgap spending package (H.J. Res. 123), which continues current spending levels until Dec. 22 and provides a temporary authorization for the Children’s Health Insurance Program until the end of 2017. Senate passage came Thursday evening after House lawmakers, voting mostly along party lines, approved the bill by a 235-193 vote.

12/4/17 - Agencies Begin Posting Their Shutdown Furlough Plans
At the direction of the Office and Management Budget, and as required by OMB guidance, federal agencies are beginning to update their shutdown contingency plans for the first time since 2015, noting who would continue to work and who would get sent home in the event Congress fails to reach a budget deal.

11/27/17 - Congress Returns With Less Than Two Weeks to Avoid a Shutdown
Congress has returned from recess to face a crowded legislative calendar, with little time to sort out how to keep the lights on at federal agencies next month. Lawmakers must pass a spending deal by Dec. 8 to avert a government shutdown. Earlier this month, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said he expects Congress will approve a short-term continuing resolution to keep the government open until the end of 2017, in order to give members additional time to work out a deal to fund the government through the end of fiscal 2018.

11/20/17 - David Berteau: Will Congress’ budget decision trigger sequestration?
Only days remain until the continuing resolution runs out. Congress will either pass a budget, continue the CR or face a government shutdown. If it passes the budgets we’re hearing about, they could trigger sequestration. David Berteau, president and CEO of the Professional Services Council, joins Federal Drive with Tom Temin on how contractors are eyeing the situation. Listen here.

9/28/17 - PSC’s Berteau Discusses Doing Business During a Continuing Resolution
In a webinar on Sept. 27, PSC president and CEO David Berteau, and senior Bloomberg Government analysts Robert Levinson and Cameron Leuthy, discussed the actions that contractors need to take now to grow their business under a continuing resolution, and how they can reduce their exposure if the CR is extended beyond December or a stalemate leads to a government shutdown. The presentation covered strategies such as leveraging multiple-award contracts to get around the CR limits on new program starts, monitoring burn rates, engaging government clients to find out how the CR will disrupt program increases, and planning now for various scenarios this fall. Click here to watch a replay of the webinar.

8/28/17 - Flowcharting a government shutdown for government contractors
President Trump has indicated that he may be willing to let a governmentwide shutdown happen and Congress has routinely let the clock tick down to just before deadline. The last shutdown (fiscal 2014) lasted 16 days and the longest one lasted 21 days in 1995-96. Rebecca Kehoe of PSC member company CohnReznick discusses how federal contractors can prepare.

8/28/17 - David Berteau: What’s the state of federal contracting?
PSC President & CEO David Berteau joined host Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss the possibility of a government shutdown, sequestration, a debt ceiling breach, and other key issues facing government contractors. 

8/17/17 - As Trump’s relationship with Congress frays, companies worry about a shutdown
One of the largest trade associations representing federal contractors is urging its members to start preparing for a shutdown when Congress returns from its August recess. The Professional Services Council, representing 400 government technology and services companies, sounded the alarm this week. 

4/10/2017 - David Berteau on Dealing with Uncertainty
David Berteau joined host Francis Rose on Government Matters Monday to discuss areas of uncertainty for government contractors, including federal budgets, security clearance backlogs, and political leadership vacancies. David noted challenges and opportunities in each of these areas that will better enable contractors to help agencies accomplish their missions.10/30/15
 - In a report released October 30 on "2013 Sequestration and Shutdown," GAO found that selected agencies—the Departments of Commerce, Energy, and State, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)—generally managed and tracked unobligated balances to ensure the effective use of program resources in the eight reviewed accounts. GAO is recommending that Energy finalize and implement a strategy and that State finalize its strategy and continue efforts to ensure more effective management of unobligated balances in the WAPA CROM account and CBSP within the D&CP account, respectively. Energy and State concurred with GAO’s recommendations. Commerce, Energy, and State provided technical comments which GAO incorporated; NASA had no comments.

9/25/15 - On September 25, the Office of Management and Budget posted online updated contingency plans for numerous federal departments and agencies in the event of a government shutdown. Included among the updates was contingency planning guidance from the Department of Defense outlining which civilian employees still need to report to work in the event of a shutdown.

2/27/15 - On February 27, the Department of Homeland Security released guidance outlining procedures for a potential lapse in appropriations. The 46-page document contains definitions of exempt and essential functions as well as procedures to be follow to ensure an orderly shutdown, including guidance on in which cases contract performance should be suspended. 

10/15/14 - GAO Report 15-86 (October 15, 2014) “2013 Government Shutdown: Three Departments Reported Varying Degrees of Impacts on Operations, Grants, and Contracts.” The 2013 shutdown impacted some operations and services at the three departments that GAO reviewed: Energy (DOE), Health and Human Services (HHS), and Transportation (DOT). GAO recommends that OMB instruct  agencies to document lessons learned in planning for and implementing a shutdown, as well as resuming activities following a shutdown should a funding gap longer than five days occur in the future. 

11/7/13 - The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a report on the impact and costs of the October 2013 Federal Government shutdown. Among other impact, the report noted that the shutdown resulted in over 10,000 stop work orders for contracts and numerous temporary layoffs among the federal contractor community. As OMB noted, Federal acquisition regulations allow contractors to request equitable adjustments for certain cost impacts associated with having to put operations on hold (e.g., costs of maintaining idle facilities, unabsorbed overhead) and that there could be thousands of requests from contractors seeking to be reimbursed for costs in¬curred as a result of these suspensions. In addition, the government will owe interest on billions of dollars of payments not made on time during the shutdown, ranging from IRS refunds to contractor payments, OMB said.

11/1/13 - On November 1, 2013, the Congressional Research Service released a report titled The FY2014 Government Shutdown: Economic Effects. The report concludes that the government shutdown had both direct and indirect effects on economic growth. It directly reduced GDP because government spending is a component of GDP. Assuming the funding levels enacted on October 17 were the same as the funding levels that would have been enacted on September 30 had a shutdown not occurred, some spending would be delayed but not permanently reduced. An indirect effect is the reduction in private consumption or business investment because of a decline in consumer confidence, which surveys reported in October. Some indirect effects may be attributable to the debt limit impasse, however, which occurred at the same time as the shutdown. It will be months before all of the relevant data are released to allow observation of how the shutdown affected the economy.

10/17/13 - Congress passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) late last night, which the president signed into law early this morning, funding the government through January 15, 2014 and ending the government shutdown. The CR also suspends enforcement of the debt limit until February 7, 2014. Following the passage of the CR, OMB Director Sylvia Burwell issued a memo to federal departments and agencies directing them to "reopen offices in a prompt and orderly manner."

10/9/13 - The DoD director of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy (DPAP) issued a class deviation from the FAR to obtain supplies and services necessary to carry out or support excepted activities in advance of the availability of fiscal year 2014 appropriations. The deviation does not apply to actions using existing appropriations or authorize actions under the “Pay Our Military Act.”

10/8/13 - DFAS Director Teresa McKay issued a memo to DFAS employees regarding the status of the DFAS workforce and their plan to process valid invoices. For DoD contractors, the 9/30  enactment of the “Pay Our Military Act” and Secretary Hagel’s 10/5 directive permitted the recall of key DCMA and DCAA staff necessary to “approve” invoices for payment.

10/7/13 - CRS has released a report titled "Government Shutdown: Operations of the Department of Defense During a Lapse in Appropriations."

10/5/13 - Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel issued guidance to begin recalling many of the department's furloughed civilian employees as part of its implementation of the "Pay Our Military Act" (POMA). While not a blanket recall, Sec. Hagel directs DoD to eliminate furloughs for employees who provide support to the Armed Forces by contributing to the "morale, well-being, capabilities and readiness of service members." In its transmittal to PSC for dissemination to our members, DoD noted that this includes all DCMA and DCAA employees, who will be directed to return to work on Monday.
 
10/3/13 – According to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) in Columbus, Ohio, they anticipate being fully staffed and able to process valid vendor invoices through approximately October 10 if the current lapse of appropriations should continue that long. However, beginning immediately, they anticipates slowdowns due to government customers not being available to address pre-validation issues or provide the required receipt certifications. 

It is thus likely that contractors will see invoices "stuck" in pre-validation or in Wide Area Workflow (WAWF) waiting those predicate actions. While DFAS will endeavor to keep the pipeline of valid invoices cleared, all DFAS overtime has been eliminated to help conserve payroll cash reserves. Of course, if the shutdown continues or if the debt ceiling constrains available federal funds, the situation could deteriorate significantly and with little advance notice. 
 
10/1/13 – With the expiration of appropriations late last night and a Continuing Resolution yet to be enacted, the Office of Management and Budget issued a September 30 memo directing federal agencies to “execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations.”

Also on September 30, the president signed into law HR 3210, the “Pay our Military Act.” The law, effective October 1, provides appropriations for pay and allowances for active and guard forces in DoD and the Coast Guard who “perform active service” during the period covered by the law. The law also provides pay and allowances for civilian employees of either DoD (for the military) or Homeland Security (for the Coast Guard) for whom the appropriate secretary determines are providing support to the members of the Armed Forces as well as pay and allowances for DoD or DHS contractors whom the Secretary concerned determines are providing support to members of the Armed Forces. The law remains in effect until January 1, 2015 or the enactment of an appropriations bill that provides or rejects such funding. The full text of the bill is below. Detailed implementation guidance, including determinations of which contracts and contractors will be covered, are still required by DoD and DHS. We will follow the implementation of this Act closely.