The undercurrents of the impeachment inquiry are manifest throughout Congress.
Most notably, legislative progress is grinding to a halt. The impeachment resolution this week formalizes the contours of the process and signals a movement of the process out from behind the closed-door classified deposition phase. As we approach the prospect of a November filled with public hearings, Congressional supporters of President Trump are exercising power where they can. That generally translates to preventing legislation from moving.
We aren’t interested in a “skinny” National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Facing the prospect that the FY20 defense policy bill won’t get enough Senators to vote for it, SASC Chairman Inhofe has pared down the 1,000-plus page NDAA to the minimum authorities required for continuity of defense and the most high-visibility programs. The bill removes every potential point of contention and answers to only the barest of “must-pass” provisions such as pay and allowances. HASC Chairman Smith views consideration and passage of this minimal version of the NDAA equivalent to failure. Each year dozens of hearings and thousands of meetings go into shaping the full NDAA. Inhofe views this bill as a backup plan to assure a passable bill is ready to go. The NDAA has passed in Congress annually for the past 58 years.
Appropriations are also bogged down in the muck.
Demonstrating considerable skills, bringing to bear decades of experience, appropriations Chairs and Ranking Members of both chambers are attempting to fend off talk of a prolonged Continuing Resolution. Recognizing that supply chains are already feeling the slowdown of orders associated with the short term CR, passage (or failure to pass) these funding bills will have lasting implications going into the 2020 election.
What it Means
For the coming weeks, and likely extending into December, expect the impeachment inquiry and proceedings to prevent Congress from completing its fundamental legislative work. As mentioned in previous Quick Hits, at this point, we’re looking at a delay for FY20 legislation. Communication with your supply chains and government customer is critical. If you are feeling an unanticipated slow-down or pinch, speak up. It is very possible your government customer has a short-term remedy for you.
What is Gene Up To?
Check out Gene’s recent interview in Forbes.
Check out Gene’s recently released book, “Pitching the Big Top: How to Master the 3-Ring Circus of Federal Sales.” It quickly hit the Amazon #1 milestone.