ExecutiveGov’s round-up of news you need to read to stay up to speed on federal policy impacting the government-contracting community.
New House Measure to Supply DoD Funding Even if Gov’t Shuts Down
Military Times reports the latest continuing resolution stopgap funding measure approved by the House late yesterday would avert a government shutdown by one week, but would supply Defense Department funding through the remainder of the current fiscal year, which ends in September.
The new funding measure provides $515.8 billion for the Defense Department’s 2011 base budget, which is less than the $540 billion Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has said the Pentagon needs to avoid a crisis.
However, the new legislation would secure the Pentagon’s funding even in the event of a government shutdown, Military Times reports.
DoD to Spend Rest of Year Cleaning up CR ‘Mess’ ?
Meanwhile, even if the Pentagon is spared from a shutdown, or if Congress manages to pass a CR covering the rest of the fiscal year, DoD officials say the series of stopgap spending bills have already done possibly “permanent” damage to the department’s modernization efforts, according to an Aviation Week blog.
“Even at this point if we get a full FY11 appropriations bill, the DoD will still spend the next half of the fiscal year trying to clean up the mess that’s already been created in terms of not being able to ramp up programs like they had planned,” Todd Harrison, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, is quoted in the piece.
CRs ‘Stressful’ for Air Force
Joining the chorus of CR naysayers is Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, who excoriated the stopgap spending measures for disrupting the service’s major programs at a meeting this morning with reporters, National Defense magazine reports.
“Fiscal year 2011 has been an extremely stressful year,” he said. “It’s not just the cost; it’s the lost contracts and lost capability.”
And, while the Air Force has contingency plans in place in case of a shutdown, that outcome would come at a time when the service, which is supporting Libyan air strikes and disaster relief in Japan, is already “under strain,” National Defense reports.
FCC Gets Website Upgrade
The Federal Communications Commission debuted a new website today, beta.fcc.gov, which provides an aesthetic and user-friendly upgrade to a government site that looked as if it had been stuck in the 1990s. The redesigned site also features a place for user comments, which, as of this morning, featured mostly positive comments. For example, one commenter said the new look is “awesome, very modern and … about time.”