Venable partner John Cooney spoke during a Professional Services Council webinar entitled, "Government Shutdown? Debt Ceiling Breach? Are You Prepared?" which was covered in Federal Times, FCW, and Government Executive. During the webinar, Cooney and other speakers educated federal contractors on how to prepare for a possible government shutdown.
In the Federal Times article on August 15, 2017, Cooney said that funding may remain available if:
- It is funded by multi-year money that is obligated already.
- Statutes authorize the continuation of your program — an example of this would be those that are essential to the protection of health and property.
- Your program is needed for constitutional powers of the president and/or Congress to be executed.
- The tasks are authorized by necessary implication from specific duties.
- Tasks are needed to terminate operations orderly.
In the FCW article on August 14, 2017, Cooney said, one is a "soft shutdown," in which the president and Congress buy time to negotiate a solution. The second type, a "hard shutdown," comes if those negotiations aren't successful and federal agencies run out of funds. Those funds, he said, can come from both single- and multi-year appropriations as well as from other revenue streams that are not tied to the congressional appropriations process.
In the Government Executive article on August 14, 2017, Cooney said, "If we come to a shutdown this time around, who knows how the administration will apply this," of the wiggle room each president has in interpreting what constitutes the shutdown-exempted work relating to protection of life or property. "But there is some play in the joints there."