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Thread: 'Unprecedented' Government Spending Spree Picks Up Speed... Senate approves $854B bi

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Airbornesapper07's Avatar
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    'Unprecedented' Government Spending Spree Picks Up Speed... Senate approves $854B bi


  2. #2
    Senior Member Airbornesapper07's Avatar
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    ‘Unprecedented’ Government Spending Spree Picks Up Speed


    Rrraum/Shutterstock.com

    The federal government is primed to spend as much as $300 billion in the final quarter of fiscal 2018 as agencies rush to obligate money appropriated by Congress before Sept. 30 or return it to the Treasury Department.
    The spending spree is the product of the omnibus budget agreement signed six months late in March coupled with funding increases of $80 billion for defense and $63 billion for civilian agencies. The shortened time frame left procurement officials scrambling to find ways to spend the money.
    Through August, defense and civilian agencies obligated some $300 billion in contracts. But to spend all the money appropriated to them by Congress, they may have to obligate well over $200 billion more in the final quarter of fiscal 2018, which ends in two weeks.
    “It is not impossible for this to happen, but it is unprecedented for that high of a percentage to be obligated to contracts for a fiscal quarter,” David Berteau, president of the Professional Services Council, told Nextgov. “You’d have to spend almost 50 percent of the yearly total in three months.”
    And yet the federal government may do just that. According to analysts at The Pulse, agencies have obligated $36 billion more toward contracts since July 1, based on data from the Federal Procurement Data System. FPDS data is imperfect and typically delayed—sometimes for weeks or months—but it does suggest significant spending nonetheless.
    A Government Business Council survey conducted through Sept. 6 of more than 400 federal government decision-makers found that 52 percent were either “very confident” or “extremely confident” their agencies would spend the rest of their fiscal 2018 budget. The Government Business Council is the research arm of Government Executive Media Group, Nextgov’s parent company.
    Here’s how the numbers break down.

    Through the first three quarters of fiscal 2017, civilian agencies spent $117 billion on contracts, slightly more than the $114.8 billion civilian agencies spent through three quarters of this fiscal year. Civilian agencies spent almost $64 billion in the final quarter of 2017, or 35 percent of the $181 billion total contracting spend for the fiscal year. After spending cautiously in the first half of fiscal 2018, civilian agencies received another $63 billion in congressional funding to obligate.
    Prorating the fiscal 2017 spending totals, Berteau said civilian agencies would have to spend close to $220 billion on contracts to exhaust what they were budgeted, which equates to more than $100 billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018.
    The Defense Department spent $331 billion on contracts in fiscal 2017 and was budgeted an additional $80 billion in fiscal 2018 on top of what it spent last year.
    According to analysts at The Pulse, as of early August, the Defense Department had only obligated $177 billion in contracts of a projected $574 billion in discretionary spending for fiscal 2018. That leaves a lot of money on the table. Last year with less money and operating under spending caps, the Defense Department still spent $111 billion on contract obligations in the final quarter of fiscal 2017.
    No longer under any such constraints, the Pentagon is likely to spend significantly more in the final fiscal quarter of 2018 than the $111 billion it spent in the fourth quarter of 2017.
    Forecasting exactly how much the government will spend on contracts is not an exact science. Some appropriations to agencies have nuanced rules or are multi-year money, meaning it doesn’t have to be spent right away. Some agencies may opt to return money to the U.S. Treasury rather than spend it, though this is not a common occurrence.

    One certainty, though, is that agencies haven’t spent every dime appropriated to them yet. In early September, the General Services Administration said in a monthly newsletter that $120 billion in common spending remained to be obligated. The Treasury Department’s Fiscal Service Data Lab, which analyzes government spending data, says agencies typically obligate 6 percent to 8 percent of their contract spending in the final week of the fiscal year. Given this fiscal year’s unusual trajectory, the final two weeks could be even more frenzied than normal.
    Where Is the Money Going?
    More than 80 percent of the decision-makers surveyed by Government Business Council said they expected to spend their remaining budget dollars on existing contract vehicles.
    About one-third of decision-makers surveyed found “lack of personnel” the largest impediment to spending their remaining budgets, followed by “internal gridlock” and “lack of sufficient time.”
    The most common near-term purchases reported by the surveyed decision-makers were professional services (34 percent), human capital products (29 percent), office management products (28 percent) and information technology (26 percent).
    The most common professional services purchases reported were consulting, education and technical and engineering services, while the most common tech spending involves software, hardware and telecommunications services.

    https://www.nextgov.com/cio-briefing...-speed/151347/
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Airbornesapper07's Avatar
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    Senate approves $854B spending bill

    By Jordain Carney and Niv Elis - 09/18/18 01:09 PM EDT
    Video at the page link

    The Senate is racing to avoid the third government shutdown of the year ahead of a looming end-of-the-month deadline.
    Senators on Tuesday voted 93-7 to pass a sweeping $854 billion spending bill that includes funding for the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Labor and Education, which make up the lion’s share of total government spending.
    Six Republicans, Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Mike Lee (Utah), Rand Paul (Ky.), David Perdue (Ga.), Ben Sasse (Neb.) and Pat Toomey (Pa.), joined Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in voting against the bill, which also includes a short-term stopgap bill to fund the rest of the government through Dec. 7 and prevent a shutdown that would start Oct. 1.
    Passage of the sweeping package of defense and domestic spending marks a significant victory for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) who has dedicated weeks of floor time to government funding and avoiding another catch-all omnibus bill less than two months before the midterm election, where control of Congress hangs in the balance.
    It’s the first time the Senate has approved funding for Labor, HHS or Education outside an omnibus bill since 2007, though even then the package was not completed on time. The bills normally get bogged down by fights over partisan riders, but Senate negotiators agreed early on to avoid attaching them to their legislation and were able to keep them out of the final House-Senate version of the minibus.
    “These milestones may sound like inside baseball, but what they signify is a Senate that is getting its appropriations process back on track; a Senate that is attending to vital priorities for our country,” McConnell said.
    Despite containing only two appropriations bills, the package represents roughly two-thirds of Congress’s 2019 spending. Of the $854 billion, $785 billion fell under agreed-upon budget caps, and the rest came from off-budget funds such as Overseas Contingency Operations.
    It includes provisions for military pay raises, defense research, increases for Pell grants and the National Institute of Health, and workforce development training, among others.
    The House is out this week but expected to take up the funding legislation next week, ahead of the September 30th deadline to keep the government funded.
    Congress already sent an initial spending bill to President Trump’s desk that funded military construction and veterans’ affairs, the legislative branch and energy and water. If Trump signs both bills before the end of the month that would allow lawmakers to get 5 out of the 12 individual appropriations bills to his desk before the end of the 2018 fiscal year.
    The two chambers are working on a third package of four bills they hope to send to the president as well, but differences remain between the House and Senate. Those bills include Agriculture, Interior, Financial Services and Transportation.
    A continuing resolution (CR) in the bill extends funding for all other agencies through December 7th, after the midterm elections.
    The inclusion of the resolution in the Department of Homeland Security bill puts off a contentious debate on Trump’s proposed border wall.
    While Trump could still choose to veto the spending bills, Congressional leaders have expressed confidence that the inclusion of the defense bill with the CR will make it difficult for him to do so.
    And Trump told Fox News earlier this month that he “most likely” would not shutdown the government, a move that would spark a risky fight for Republicans less than two months before the midterm.
    “I guess when you get right down to it, it is up to me,” Trump said during an interview with Fox News about shutting down the government, “but I don't want to do anything to hurt us or potentially hurt us.”
    Instead, senators are bracing for a December fight over funding for the border wall with both chambers far apart on how much to include. The House version of the bill included $5 billion of funding, while the Senate version included $1.6 billion and limited spending to reinforcing existing barriers.
    Trump had made getting funding for his border wall a top priority including threatening to veto a March spending bill that he and his conservative allies felt didn’t include sufficient funding for the wall.

    Tags Mitch McConnell Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Pat Toomey Jeff Flake Rand Paul Ben Sasse Mike Lee Budget Appropriations Shutdown

    https://thehill.com/policy/finance/4...-spending-bill
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    Line item VETO the pork spending!
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    TO BECOME AN AMERICAN YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR VALUES ...NOT YOUR LOCATION

    STAY HOME AND BUILD AMERICA ON YOUR SOIL

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