Deal Reached to Keep Government Open; Administration FY 2020 Budget Request Delayed

February 15, 2019

At press time, a budget deal to avoid another partial shutdown awaited the President’s signature. The conference report provides budgets for the remainder of fiscal year (FY) 2019 to nine departments and dozens of agencies, including the National Science Foundation (NSF). The bill would give $8.075 billion to NSF, a $308 million increase from FY 2018, reflecting $6.52 billion for research and related activities and $910 million for the Education and Human Resources Directorate. 

During the uncertainty leading up to the budget deal, FABBS joined nobel laureates and science community leaders on a letter to Members of Congress and the President. The letter explained how the shutdown harmed the American scientific enterprise.

Congress will turn their attention to the FY 2020 budget and will once again be facing budget caps, according to a 2011 deficit reduction law. Since the Budget Control Act of 2011, Congress has waited until the very last minute before coming to bipartisan agreements to raise the caps. This year, several Senators have suggested raising the discretionary spending limits in advance of the Oct. 1, 2019 beginning of the next fiscal year. In the absence of an agreement, Congress will face spending cuts of $126 billion from this year’s levels. FABBS signed a community sign-on letter encouraging Congress to raise the budget caps for FY 2020. FABBS is working, in collaboration with broad coalitions, to support strong budgets for federal agencies funding behavioral and brain sciences.

The shutdown has delayed the release of the administration budget until March 11. It is typically released on the first Tuesday of February.