Congress Signals Additional Stopgap Measures to Keep Government Open

Congressional leaders in both chambers have agreed to, yet another, continuing resolution (CR) to avoid a partial (Agriculture, Transportation and Housing, Energy and Water, and Veteran’s Affairs) government shutdown after March 1.  While averting a shutdown is good news, keep in mind that the fiscal year ended on September 30, 2023 and that three of the four bills continue to be contentious and will still need to be resolved. An additional CR taking us into April would trigger across the board cuts per the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2023. 

March 8th is the deadline for the other eight bills, including those funding FABBS disciplines. While topline spending has been agreed upon by Congress in the form of 302(b)’s – the funding amount for each of the Appropriations subcommittees – appropriators are still negotiating how much money to allot to individual federal agencies including ARPA-H, IES, NIH, and NSF for fiscal year 2024 (FY24).  These bills contain numerous controversial policy riders. Rep. Rosa Delauro (D-CT), the top Democratic appropriator in the House, said that there were 35 riders in the House Labor-HHS-Education bill.   

[See the FABBS Federal Science Funding Dashboard]   

FABBS signed on to two letters that support the behavioral and brain sciences in the final FY24 budget levels, including:    

  • The Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) letter which encourages Congress to “fund NSF at the highest level possible in 2024 appropriations” and requests “supplemental funding to bring NSF to the level authorized in [the] Chips and Science [Act].”    
  • The Friends of the Institute for Education Sciences (IES) letter  which urged that the final legislation package “include the highest possible amount for IES and does not cut funding for IES programs.”       

As Congress struggles to complete FY24, the advocacy community is already weighing in on the appropriations process for FY25.  Recently, FABBS has signed on to the following:   

  • The Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research FY25 appropriations letter which calls for “at least $51.303 billion for the National Institutes of Health, which would represent a $3.579 billion or 7.5% increase over the comparable FY 2024 funding level approved with bipartisan support by the Senate Appropriations Committee [to be updated upon completion of FY 2024].”   
  • The Friends of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) letter which “request[s] no less than $500 million in funding” for FY25.