Congressional leaders have indicated over the past few weeks that they plan to extend the current continuing resolution under which the government is operating past its December 8 expiration date. Extending the continuing resolution will give Congress more time to wrap up fiscal year (FY) 2018 appropriations and reach a deal to raise spending caps. According to the latest reports, Congressional Republicans are proposing an increase of $54 billion in defense spending and $37 billion in nondefense spending, which includes federal science agencies, for the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years.
While the House of Representatives completed its work on the FY 2018 appropriations in September, the Senate has moved more slowly; only eight of the twelve spending bills have passed the Appropriations Committee, and none have received a vote of the full Senate. The remaining four spending bills were released last week and will likely be considered by the Appropriations committee in the coming days. Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) added in his statement regarding the FY 2018 appropriations outlook that the Committee needs a new budget deal to finish their work, as much of their proposed spending is higher than the statutory spending caps in the Budget Control Act.