Stopgap funding bill extends GovCon reimbursements for pandemic

The federal government’s new fiscal year began at midnight Eastern time on Thursday and a shutdown was averted after President Trump signed a stopgap funding bill into law nearly one hour later.

One key provision in the continuing resolution that funds agencies through Dec. 11 was also extended, one that government contractors have leaned on to keep employees on the payroll amid the economic dysfunction brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

Section 3610 of the CARES Act economic stimulus law enacted in March lets federal agencies including the Defense Department adjust contract terms in order to let companies file for reimbursements of paid leave for employees who cannot get to their designated government worksite during the pandemic.

That has particularly applied for federal facilities that house work on classified projects in defense, intelligence and other national security agencies.

Without Section 3610 or some equivalent, GovCon companies and the trade associations representing them spoke of a binary choice businesses face in either having to lay off employees or continue paying those workers amid revenue and cash flow shortfalls.

Section 3610 was slated to expire Wednesday but now will also go on through Dec. 11 as it currently stands, unless Congress works on an extension or acts in another manner.

Still to be worked out is the funding mechanism for Section 3610 as while that provision allows for the reimbursements, no appropriations have been made to do so.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also connect with him on LinkedIn.

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