The House of Representatives passed the first set of fiscal year (FY) 2020 appropriations bills on June 21, including the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill, which is responsible for funding the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Department of Education, among other agencies. The House next turned to consideration of another package of bills, including the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies bill (CJS), which funds the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Census Bureau, among other agencies. At the time of publication, the House is still considering the CJS bill package, but is expected to pass nearly all twelve appropriations bills before Congress leaves for Independence Day recess.
While the House has nearly completed its appropriations work, the Senate Appropriations Committee is waiting for top-level discretionary funding (known within the Beltway as “302a allocations”) to be finalized before proceeding on their versions of the FY 2020 appropriations bills. As COSSA has reported, discretionary budget caps must be raised if federal agencies and programs are to realize any funding increases in FY 2020.