NSF & Congress
House and Senate on recess, continuing resolution funding most government agencies ends on April 28, more
April 7, 2017
The House and Senate are on recess for two weeks. One of the most pressing issues facing members when they return is the need to fund government operations through Sept. 30, the end of the 2017 fiscal year (FY). Most federal agencies (including NSF) are operating under a continuing resolution that runs through midnight on Apr. 28. Only one of the regular appropriations bills has been signed into law. House and Senate negotiators have been working on an "omnibus" bill that would fund the rest of the federal government, but there are only four joint legislative days left for both chambers to act and send the package to the President for his signature by the April 28 deadline.
Meanwhile, the White House is expected to unveil its budget request for FY 2018 in mid-May. The proposed budget will provide funding levels for all government agencies including NSF. In March, the Administration released its budget blueprint of the President's priorities for federal spending, but that document did not specify a funding level for NSF. The Appropriations Committees are expected to hold hearings shortly after the budget request is released.
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee has reported S.141, the Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act, for consideration by the full Senate. Introduced by Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan, the bill would direct the Office of Science and Technology Policy to coordinate government activities to improve the nation's ability to prepare for and respond to potentially harmful space weather events such as solar flares. Much of the bill is directed at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) but there are provisions aimed at NSF's support of ground-based observations of the sun, collection of data and support of basic research to advance understanding of solar physics and space weather. For more information, see the committee report.
For tools and resources about the impact on NSF's investments, please see the NSF Toolkit.
A special website for NSF Days is now available.