According to Federal Times, Obama’s 2014 budget is likely to be late. An unnamed former federal official who spoke to the publication on the condition of anonymity told Federal Times that he suspects that the delay will last until March. Specifically, anonymous source told Federal Times that the Office of Management and Budget had not yet sent agencies their "passbacks" — the documents informing agencies if their budgetary request were accepted.
If true, the delay could further contractor unease for two reasons. First, the earlier defense contractors know about the federal budget, the better they can organize their own plans for the year, including making new hires. Second, agencies are often unable to sign long-term contracts without knowing their budgetary situation:
“Under continuing resolutions, for example, agencies often resort to short-lived contracts that may run from week to week. They also have to continue services that have outlived their effectiveness, while delays in maintenance and other activities may bring higher costs later on. One contractor reported getting a one-month base contract with 59 one-month options to accommodate the unpredictability associated with continuing resolutions.” (source)
These budgetary concerns will have a major impact on cleared job seekers, since defense companies relying on federal contracts will likely hesitate to bring on extra staff under an uncertain financial climate.
Mike Jones is a researcher, writer, and analyst on national and international security. He lives in the DC area.