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Congress Rushes to Finish FY 2020 as Schedule Fills

The federal government is currently operating under a continuing resolution (CR), keeping the government open until December 20 at fiscal year (FY) 2019 funding levels. With less than two weeks left before the current stopgap spending bill expires, appropriators are hoping to finalize all twelve appropriations bills and pass them as soon as possible. In addition to the normal pressures of wrapping up annual appropriations before the holidays, Congressional leaders must also complete their year-end goals related to impeachment. The House has announced plans to vote on articles of impeachment before the end of the year and the Senate must clear its schedule as legislative activities will grind to a halt during an impeachment trial. Stay tuned to COSSA’s website and Member Messages for updates related to FY 2020 appropriations.

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Posted in Issue 24 (December 10), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

President Signs One-Month Continuing Resolution, Temporarily Averting Government Shutdown

The President signed a one-month continuing resolution (CR) on November 21 to keep the government operating at fiscal year (FY) 2019 levels until December 20. FY 2020 began on October 1 and while both the House of Representatives and the Senate have made progress on passing individual bills, contentious issues like top-line funding levels and funding for a wall on the southern U.S. border have kept Congress from finalizing FY 2020 spending. A notable exception to the flat funding required by the CR is additional funding authority given to the Census Bureau as the agency prepares for the 2020 Decennial Census. The CR provides the Census Bureau with $7.3 billion for Periodic Censuses and Programs, which includes the 2020 Census and is in line with the amount proposed by the Senate. See COSSA’s analysis of the Senate Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies appropriations bill here and analysis of all of the House and Senate appropriations bills affecting social and behavioral science here.

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Posted in Issue 23 (November 26), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

FY 2020 Spending Still Uncertain, Continuing Resolution Likely Through December

As COSSA has reported, the federal government is currently operating under a continuing resolution (CR), a stopgap measure that has frozen funding for federal agencies at fiscal year (FY) 2019 levels, which is set to expire on November 21. On October 31, the Senate made progress on its FY 2020 appropriations work by passing a package of four spending bills, including the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies bill that funds the National Science Foundation and Census Bureau, but leaving the fate of the remaining eight appropriations bills – and final year funding – uncertain. While the final decisions on FY 2020 spending are yet to be settled, reports from Congress indicate that leadership in both chambers and the White House have come to an agreement that the next CR should only last until mid-December, putting pressure on Congress to finish its work before the holidays.

COSSA released an Action Alert calling on members to communicate directly with their Senators and Representatives to urge them to complete work on FY 2020 funding as soon as possible to mitigate any further uncertainty to federal science and statistical agencies.

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Posted in Issue 22 (November 12), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

Senate Continues to Debate Spending Bills as CR End Looms

The federal government is currently operating under a continuing resolution (CR), a stopgap measure that has frozen funding for federal agencies at FY 2019 levels, which is set to expire on November 21. While the House had passed 10 of the 12 appropriations bills through the chamber before the summer recess, the Senate is beginning to make progress as well. It too has passed 10 of the 12 bills out of committee and is currently debating a package of four bills on the Senate floor. While the Senate is certainly making up for lost time, there have been reports that Congressional leaders are considering passing an additional CR that would last until the spring of 2020. Nonetheless, COSSA and its partners continue to advocate for strong numbers for federal science programs in any final spending agreement. See COSSA’s analysis of the FY 2020 spending proposals here, and the coalition letters COSSA has joined here.

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Posted in Issue 21 (October 29), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

President Signs Continuing Resolution Keeping Government Open Until Thanksgiving

On Friday September 27, just three days before the end of fiscal year (FY) 2019, the President signed into law a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government open until November 21. This stopgap measure will continue funding the government at FY 2019 levels and was approved by the House on September 19 and the Senate on September 26. This CR will allow the Senate to finish its work on spending bills and reconcile differences with the spending proposals from the House. At the time of this writing, the House has passed 10 of the 12 appropriations and the Senate has yet to approve any bills on the Senate floor but has advanced many through committee (see related article).

Keep an eye on COSSA’s FY 2020 reporting for updates.

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Posted in Issue 19 (October 1), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

Senate Makes Progress on FY 2020 Appropriations for NSF, Census, NIH, Education, USDA

With the passage of a continuing resolution through Thanksgiving giving Congress some breathing room to complete fiscal year (FY) 2020 appropriations, the Senate Appropriations Committee has finally made progress in approving a number of its annual appropriations bills. COSSA has released analyses of three Senate bills that fund agencies important to the social and behavioral sciences:

Full coverage of FY 2020 appropriations, including analyses of the corresponding House proposals, is available on the COSSA website.

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Posted in Issue 19 (October 1), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

Senate Appropriations Efforts Slow to Start as End of Fiscal Year Looms

Both chambers of Congress returned to Washington following the annual August recess and, as COSSA has reported, they only have a few weeks to make progress on fiscal year (FY) 2020 appropriations bills before FY 2019 ends on September 30. At the time of this writing, the full House of Representatives has passed 10 of the 12 appropriations bills and the Senate has passed two bills out of the full Appropriations Committee.

While the Senate has jumped into appropriations upon returning from recess, with two bills approved in committee and consideration of 3 bills scheduled, there remains only about a handful of legislative days in the fiscal year. The Senate Appropriations Committee had scheduled a mark-up for the Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill, which includes funding for the National Institutes of Health and Department of Education, among other programs, but after a disagreement on whether controversial amendments should be considered, the mark-up was postponed indefinitely. No further details have been released on when the bill will be considered.

Congress could face yet another government shutdown unless bills or a continuing resolution (CR) are passed by both chambers and signed by the President before the end of the month. Leadership in both chambers have publicly supported passing a CR to prevent a government shutdown, and the House is expected to vote this week on a measure to keep the government open until Thanksgiving. Senate leadership has not indicted when it plans to vote on stop-gap funding.

COSSA has been reporting on the status of the FY 2020 House appropriations bills over the last several months. Check out our consolidated analysis of the FY 2020 bills for details.

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Posted in Issue 18 (September 17), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

State of Play: FY 2020 Appropriations for Social Science Research

Both chambers of Congress will be back in Washington next week and will have only a few weeks to make progress on the fiscal year (FY) 2020 appropriations bills before FY 2019 ends on September 30. At the time of this writing, 10 of the 12 appropriations bills have been passed by the full House of Representatives. However, the Senate had deferred its consideration of any spending bills (even in subcommittee) until a compromise was reached to provide reprieve from budget caps set in place by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

On August 2, President Trump signed a two-year budget agreement that provides federal programs relief from these automatic spending cuts. The deal allows Congress to appropriate increases for defense and non-defense discretionary programs, including for research, healthcare, and the upcoming 2020 Census. However, the House bills, as currently written, total about $15 billion more in nondefense spending than the final budget cap negotiated for FY 2020, meaning the House will need to revisit some of its bills when they return September 9 and in some cases make adjustments.

The passage of the budget deal clears the way for Congress to pass FY 2020 funding bills when it returns. We expect the Senate to hit the ground running on appropriations bills in early September. However, with no appropriations bills currently introduced in the Senate and the end of the fiscal year looming on September 30, time is the most critical factor; Congress could face yet another government shutdown unless bills or a continuing resolution (CR) are passed by both chambers and signed by the President before the end of the fiscal year. We predict a CR will be passed to allow policymakers additional time to complete work on FY 2020.

COSSA has been reporting on the status of the FY 2020 House appropriations bills over the last several months. Check out our consolidated analysis of the FY 2020 bills for details.

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Posted in Issue 17 (September 3), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

Budget Deal Signed; Congress Leaves for Summer Recess with FY 2020 Outcome Unknown

On August 2, President Trump signed a two-year budget agreement that provides federal programs relief from automatic spending cuts set to take effect in fiscal years (FY) 2020 and 2021 as well as raises the debt ceiling for two years. The deal allows Congress to appropriate spending increases for defense and non-defense discretionary programs, including for research, healthcare, and the upcoming 2020 Census. The passage of the budget deal clears the way for Congress to pass FY 2020 funding bills when it returns in September from its annual summer recess, but it will have to act quickly to avert a government shutdown on October 1. As COSSA has reported, the House of Representatives has nearly completed its work on FY 2020 appropriations, but the Senate delayed considering any spending bills until a deal was reached to address the limits discretionary spending. The Senate is now expected to start working in haste to draft spending bills after it returns from recess.

COSSA has also released an Action Alert for COSSA Members to communicate directly with their Senators to urge them to support social science research funding.

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Posted in Issue 16 (August 6), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

Congress and White House Strike Budget Deal Before Congress Leaves for Recess

As Congress prepares to leave for its annual August recess, Congressional leaders have struck a deal with the White House to raise the budget caps and debt ceiling for the coming fiscal years. The deal will allow for an increase in defense and non-defense discretionary spending, and provide relief from the final two years of automatic budget cuts put in place by the Budget Control Act of 2011. This deal means that increases are now possible for programs across the government, including research, healthcare, and the upcoming 2020 Census. As COSSA has reported, the House of Representatives is nearly done working on fiscal year (FY) 2020 appropriations, but the Senate was delaying any spending decisions until a deal was reached to address the limits discretionary spending. The Senate is now expected to start working in haste to draft spending bills after they return from recess. Congress has until the end of September to finish work on FY 2020, pass a continuing resolution, or risk another government shutdown.

COSSA has also released an Action Alert for COSSA Members to communicate directly with their Senators to urge them to support social science research.

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Posted in Issue 15 (July 23), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

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