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News & Press: WIPP Legislative Updates

Budget Agreement Means Progress for Contractors

Monday, November 9, 2015  
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Budget Agreement Means Progress for Contractors

 

Federal contractors received good news this week as several important bills advanced in Congress.

 

First, the Bipartisan Budget Act provides budget certainty for the next two fiscal years. The Act increases spending limits by $80 billion over FY2016 and FY2017. Currently, programs are being funded at FY2015 levels through a Continuing Resolution (CR). Not only does a CR keep the previous year’s funding levels in place, it also prevents new projects from starting.  Appropriators are now allocating the additional funding to specific programs, which will ultimately guide contractors about new opportunities.

 

Also good news, small business contracting changes were kept in the new version of the FY2016 defense policy bill (the “NDAA”), S. 1356. The bill includes an expansion of HUBZone eligible areas, simplification of joint venture past performance requirements, and innovative technology pilot programs. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill this week. President Obama vetoed the previous version over budget issues prior to the budget deal (above). Fortunately, small business policy improvements from that bill – including some advocated for by WIPP – remained in the revised version.

 

Finally, the House passed H.R. 22, a long-term highway and transportation funding bill. It provides funding for highway, transportation and infrastructure projects for the next six years. In the past decade, there has not been a transportation bill that provided certainty for longer than two years. The House and Senate will now merge their separate versions to come up with a final product.

 

 


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