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Nick Wakeman

Are we at risk of another government shutdown?

Well, the fiscal year is rapidly coming to a close and while many are hard at work responding to the traditional rush of last minute procurements, another deadline is looming.

Fiscal 2015 will end on Sept. 30 and Congress has maybe 10 days left on its calendar and we still don’t have a continuing resolution and there is no solution coming for sequestration. In short, the federal budget is a mess.

And while I have no great insights, I would be surprised if we have a government shutdown. Of course, I was surprised we had a shutdown at the end of 2013. But even a continuing resolution isn’t without its own issues. If a CR doesn’t meet sequestration goals, we’ll still face automatic cuts. One estimate I read puts the gap between a continuing resolution and sequestration at $40 billion, with civilian and defense sides each taking half the hit.

As I said, I don’t have great insights, but here are some sources worth reading. I expect the coverage to increase as we move deeper into September.

DOD’s chasm between what’s needed and what’s possible

This article by Mark Rockwell covers a speech my DOD acquisition chief Frank Kendall and his harsh assessment of the current DOD budget.

Kendall tries to soothe industry over R&D rules

Federal News Radio’s Scott Maucione talks about sequestration and the budget in his article looking at research and development rules coming out of DOD. The article is worth reading for topic as well.

Frustrations of 2013 shutdown linger as the threat of a repeat grows

This article by Charles Clark at GovExec.com covers a speech by a former DOD official who’s losing confidence that a shutdown can be avoided. Conservatives want to block any spending bill including a continuing resolution that includes funding for Planned Parenthood. Former Comptroller Robert Hale told a Brookings Institute crowd about the uncertainty and wasted time budget uncertainty creates.

Obama to GOP: Don’t kill the economy this fall

The headline from the Fiscal Times kind of says it all. You don’t have to be a political genius to know that the two sides of debate really dislike each other and put a high priority on seeing the other side lose.

Will Ted Cruz cause another government shutdown?

This one from the Washington Post focuses more on political strategy and commentary, but it is good to remember that the budget process is one of the most effective ways for both sides to make a statement. A lot will depend on big a statement they want to make.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll see more coverage of the budget or lack of budget. In this era of brinkmanship, Sept. 30 is still a long way off. Unfortunately.

Feel free to post links to other articles and commentary you think can help us understand what’s going on or warn us of what’s ahead.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Sep 03, 2015 at 11:25 AM


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