Government Relations

Government Relations Legislative Update

Government Relations Legislative Update

Updates on state and federal issues relating to the UW System.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Federal Update for Friday, April 8, 2011

Yesterday, the White House issued a veto threat against a short-term continuing resolution (CR), H.R. 1363, proposed by the House Republicans, which would fund the government for another week, while fully funding the Department of Defense for the remainder of FY 2011.  The CR would cut other programs by $12 billion and includes several controversial policy provisions to which Democrats are strongly opposed.  The House passed the CR yesterday afternoon by a vote of 247 to 181.  Last night President Obama indicated a willingness to sign a short-term CR that is free of further spending cuts and policy riders, to keep the government running beyond today when the current CR expires.

If Congress and the White House cannot come to an agreement over a final resolution for FY 2011 and if they also cannot agree to pass a short-term CR funding the government beyond today, the federal government will go into shut-down mode tonight.

In anticipation of a possible FY 2011 budget impasse, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued late yesterday its shutdown guidance, Planning for Agency Operations During a Lapse in Government Funding (M-11-13, April 7, 2011), to the heads of the various federal departments and agencies. A copy of the OMB instructions is available at:  The document includes a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) on grants and contracts. 

The memorandum specifically addresses Questions and Answers on Contracts & Grants.  It states:
"In the situation in which performance under an already-issued contract or grant is not impacted by such a lapse (as described in the memorandum), the contractor or grantee may continue to proceed with its work during the lapse period…This assumes there is no problem with funding for any necessary related activities, for example, by federal employees overseeing the contract or grant."

Further, "… the performance -by contracting officers, contracting officer technical representatives, contract administration personnel, and grants management specialists -of routine oversight, inspection, accounting, administration, payment processing, and other contracting or grant management activity would generally not continue."  It appears that grantees may continue to draw down funds on already issued grants during the shutdown.

New grants or contracts, extensions of grants and contracts, and/or renewals on grants and contracts will not occur during a shutdown, expect under very limited circumstances (i.e.-emergencies).  

(APLU and UW System Office of Federal Relations contributed to this report.)