Congress Avoids Shutdown, but Uncertainty Remains
October 1, 2021
On Thursday night, Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) narrowly avoiding a government shutdown that would have gone into effect at midnight on September 30th. The legislation maintains current funding levels until December 3, by which time Congress will again have to find agreement on spending levels for fiscal year (FY) 2022. The bill also included emergency supplemental funding for disaster relief related to recent hurricanes, as well as for Afghan resettlement efforts.
It is good news that Congress was able to come together and keep the government open, avoiding disastrous interruptions to federal programs. Nonetheless, CRs pose problems for federal agencies, preventing new programs and initiatives and making it difficult to plan for the future. FABBS will continue to engage with Congress in the coming months to advocate for regular appropriations going forward, including needed increases in science funding.
Despite avoiding a shutdown, Congress still faces immense pressure as Democrats grapple with the size and scope of President Biden’s social agenda and the country rapidly approaches the federal debt ceiling. The Treasury is expected to reach its borrowing limit on or around October 18, at which point the federal government would be unable to meet its financial obligations. If Congress fails to address the debt limit, the results would be devastating.