Continuing Resolution On The Horizon for FY15

Christopher Wiedemann_headshot-65 x 85by Chris Wiedemann, Senior Analyst

FY14 is quickly coming to a close, and vendors and customers are both scrambling to get the ball rolling on September deals. With all that’s slated to happen in the next few months, and some industry analysts predicting a record-setting Q4 this year, it can be tempting to write off FY15 until October in favor of focusing all your attention on last-minute FY14 sales opportunities. However, it’s always important to keep the big picture in mind. If you don’t spare some thought for the beginning of next fiscal year, especially what the overall appropriations situation looks like, you run the risk of getting left out – or at least failing to properly plan for the first half of the year, when you should be targeting enterprise sales opportunities.

With that in mind, where do we stand on FY15 appropriations? Unfortunately, the news isn’t great – out of the 12 spending bills necessary to make up a full budget, the House has passed 5 and the Senate hasn’t passed any. Although there are slightly over two months before the September 30 deadline, Congress’ August recess leaves them with around 30 days to get the appropriations house in order. That means that you can pretty much rule out any chance of a full budget – although, since we haven’t had one since 2008, you may have done that already. Momentum has also stalled on the “minibus” bill that was being discussed in the Senate last month. As a reminder, a minibus is a consolidated bill made up of two or more individual spending bills (in this case, the departments who would have gotten new FY15 appropriations are DOJ, DOC, DOT, USDA, DOE, and HUD). It’s still possible that we could see that bill pick up steam again, but the impasse is real and ranking members of the Senate Appropriations committee don’t sound hopeful.

If you think all of that sounds like the recipe for another continuing resolution, you’re right. All signs point to the government beginning the year at the same funding level as FY14 – at least through November 15th, after the midterm elections. Our prediction is that things will stay in stasis for longer than that, either because the initial CR is longer, or because a second CR is put in place after November 15th. That means that the same strategies you’ve been using to deal with CRs for the last few years need to be dusted off – probably until the start of 2015 at the least.

We will be talking about the federal budget in more depth at the Government IT Sales Summit. immixGroup’s annual budget briefings are among our most popular events of the year and will be exclusively available at the Summit on November 20, 2014.

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