Capitol Corner December 2020

Washington is in the final stretch of the 116th Congress. Two items remain in negotiations that must be resolved before lawmakers can head home for the holidays – FY21 appropriations and coronavirus relief. Congress was forced to pass a one-week extension of the continuing resolution to fund the government at current levels through December 18. The measure aims to give policymakers more time to strike a deal on a comprehensive FY21 spending bill, which may include coronavirus relief funding provisions if a separate aide package cannot be agreed upon. 

Meanwhile, the bipartisan, bicameral group known as the Problem Solvers Caucus (25 Ds, 25 Rs) released additional details of the stimulus framework they recently unveiled as a compromise solution to end months of negotiations. The $908 billion proposal is hitting the same stalemates as previous proposals over state and local aid and the liability provisions. Now is a good time to call your Members of Congress urging their support to keep the $160 billion in state and local aid in this package.

After the New Year, federal agencies will move forward in announcing competitive FY21 federal grant program application deadlines, which are not likely to vary much from previous years in most cases. Therefore, it is still good practice to use the current applications guidelines and requirements to start early on the next round.

The new 2021-2022 leadership of the House Appropriations Committee have announced the intention of moving forward with earmarks, now to be called “congressionally directed spending” for the FY22 process. Projects will likely need to be submitted to Members of Congress by early February 2021.

A COVID/economic stimulus package may also provide another opportunity to fund local projects. Shovel-ready projects should be defined very soon in order to compete for these funds if they become available.

For more information on these and other federal developments, contact Leslie Mozingo, Strategics Consulting, at 202-255-5760 or