Congress Passes Last Minute Budget to Avoid Shutdown

President Biden signed a continuing resolution (CR) on Saturday night to fund the federal government at fiscal year 23 levels until November 17. The legislation reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the national flood insurance program through the end of this year and includes $16 billion for disaster relief. Notably missing from the legislation is funding for Ukraine and additional border security, which have both been major points of disagreement between the parties during negotiations over the past few weeks.

See the current funding levels on the FABBS Federal Funding Dashboard.

After weeks of deliberations, and much to the surprise by many, the House passed the CR with a bipartisan vote of 335-91. Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, (R-CA), relied on Democrats for votes to pass the stopgap. In the first vote of its kind in U.S. history on Tuesday, McCarthy was ousted from House leadership by 216-210 votes. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) will act as interim speaker. It is uncertain if the Labor, Health, and Human Services (LHHS) and the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) bills will be further marked up in the House.

Shortly after the House vote, the Senate passed the CR by a bipartisan 88-9 vote. Senate Democrat Michael Bennet (D-CO) held up the bill in hopes they would promise Ukraine aid. Eventually, the Senate agreed and said they will be seeking a supplemental bill to continue assisting Ukraine.

There has been a great level of uncertainty for federal agencies due to the issues the House and Senate have presented. Federal agencies had to create contingency plans in case of a lapse in funding. Both the NIH and NSF plans had mentioned review panels would’ve been canceled, and rescheduled.

Unfortunately, a government shutdown is still possible in the future. Congress must come to a funding agreement or pass another CR before November 17. FABBS is working to document the inefficiencies and disruptions of CRs and government shutdowns on the scientific enterprise. How has this affected you or your work? We welcome all personal experiences.