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FY16 Budget Debates Important to Federal Contractors

Monday, March 30, 2015  
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Policy Briefing Week of March 23


FY16 Budget Debates Important to Federal Contractors

Since FY2013, budget debates have yielded two painful outcomes for federal contractors: ongoing uncertainty and sequestration. Both concerns may be averted in the first unified budget resolution in six years. While the House and Senate still need to finalize the FY16 funding blueprints by April 15th, both ensure that there will be no across-the-board spending cuts (“sequestration”) for government agencies. Instead, the resolutions will make deep, targeted cuts in order to stay under spending caps decided upon in 2011 (spending above those caps leads to sequestration). The process has moved along more smoothly than in recent years, giving agencies a more definite picture of next year’s spending.

Still to be decided is what level defense spending should be adopted. While both the House and Senate would not exceed defense spending caps, the House did include a significant increase in war funding, not subject to the caps. Republicans focused on cutting the deficit oppose the increased spending, making this a final point of contention in getting a unified budget.    

Should an agreement be reached, the budget would balance over the next decade by cutting roughly $5 trillion in spending. These resolutions are not laws, but instead set the overall spending limit for the next fiscal year. Appropriations Committees will now work on spending for individual agencies and programs that must meet the budget resolutions totals. 


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