On February 9, Democrats and Republicans agreed on a budget deal to fund essential services and increase public spending by $300 billion over a two-year period, ending a shutdown of the federal government.
The agreement provides almost $90 billion in funding for areas affected by natural disasters in 2017, including the territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, with much of the money going to cover Medicaid expenses of survivors.
Beyond disaster relief, funds will also be allocated for infrastructure, health care and other regional services projects across the U.S., all of which can be expected to require the services of private vendors.
$20 billion in federal spending will be directed to infrastructure projects over the next two years, much of which will be spent upgrading and maintaining existing water and energy facilities. Expansion of broadband infrastructure and surface transportation networks to rural areas will also be prioritized.
State and local government groups have been pushing for the federal government to step up funding for infrastructure and to invest in partnerships with all levels of government and private companies in order to address the nation’s infrastructure challenges. The federal investment will likely lead to many new construction opportunities and related bids for private vendors.
The budget deal also funds health care programs that assist some of the most vulnerable people in America. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which helps cover the health care costs of some 9 million children and pregnant women, will be funded for the next 10 years under the deal.
The Community Health Center Fund, which supports 27 million low-income people, will be funded for another four years. An additional $6 billion will be directed to initiatives to address mental health care and the nation-wide opioid crisis.
These investments can be expected to lead to new public opportunities in the health care services and supplies industries.
The defense budget received a bigger boost from the deal than all domestic U.S. programs combined: defense spending will increase by $165 billion over the next two years, while spending on domestic programs will increase by $131 billion. The increase in funds for defense programs and initiatives will in all likelihood lead to many new opportunities in defense and related sub-sectors including security, IT, construction, and others.
State and Local Opportunities
Federal funding for infrastructure and health care projects is often shared with state and local governments to pay for projects in their regions, sometimes in partnership with states, municipalities or private companies. In all of these situations, opportunities will arise for third-party vendors to bid on, including sub-contracts related to major projects.
All in all, the budget deal directs much-needed investment to address critical infrastructure projects and health care programs across the country, while also ensuring that the U.S. defense spending will increase – developments that will undoubtedly lead to increased opportunities for vendors in all of these sectors.
Nathan Munn | BidNet.com