The new bipartisan budget deal ends six years of strict caps on federal spending.
That's huge news for our region, which has been growing more slowly than most other big metropolitan areas around the country. You could almost hear the government contractors cheering when the news of the deal broke.
Our region is still dominated by one business: the US government. And for most of the past decade, the government has been spending less money.
The new budget deal changes that, showering the Pentagon and other federal agencies with hundreds of billions of dollars in new funding. And that's likely to put more money in the pockets of a whole lot of people.
"We're absolutely elated. We're like, 'The government is doing its job!' We're high-fiving," said Olessia Smotrova, who has a better sense of the impact of billions of dollars in new federal spending than most of us.
She's the co-founder of OST Global Solutions, one of three consulting, education and incubator companies in Rockville that help teach businesses both large and small how to land federal contracts.
"If you go back to the government shutdown of 2013, that was devastating for a lot of our clients, and that's affected our business as well," she said.
Federal government spending caps and short term budgets hurt economic growth in the D.C. region, allowing cities from Boston to Seattle to leap ahead of us.
The new spending deal could change that.
"There's infrastructure that needs to be built that's being built. There's research that needs to be done that's being done. This is what it's supposed to be like when the government is working," said Smotrova.
Government contracting is a huge business. By some estimates, a trillion dollars in total, and an estimated $20 billion dollars in D.C. alone.
People who work for contractors spend that money on everything from buying homes to going to yoga classes. So if they're doing better, a lot of us are likely to do better.