NSF & Congress
Government agencies operating under a short-term funding bill; budget resolutions moving through the House and Senate
October 13, 2017
NSF and other federal agencies have been operating under a continuing resolution (CR) since the start of fiscal year (FY) 2018 on Oct. 1. Facing pressure to avoid a partial government shutdown, Congressional leaders and the White House worked out a deal that provided short-term funding of government operations at current levels, an extension of the debt ceiling and emergency aid to victims of Hurricane Harvey and other natural disasters. The CR and suspension of the debt ceiling run through Dec. 8, 2017. The Senate agreed to the bill by a vote of 80 to 17. The House voted 316 to 90, and sent it to the President who signed the measure into law on Sept. 8.
Since then, the House and Senate have taken up their respective FY 2018 budget resolutions. The House adopted H. Con. Res. 71 by a vote of 219 to 206 on Oct. 5. It calls for a deficit-neutral tax reform bill and at least $203 billion in mandatory spending reductions during the next decade. Also on Oct. 5, the Senate Budget Committee approved an alternative measure. It would allow the Senate to pass a tax reform plan by a simple majority and allow for a $1.5 trillion increase in the debt over 10 years to offset revenue losses from tax cuts.
On Oct. 12, the House approved legislation (H.R. 2266) that would provide additional disaster aid to help communities affected by the recent hurricanes and wildfires. The package providing $36.5 billion in disaster assistance was passed by a vote of 353 to 69. Next, the measure goes to the Senate for consideration.
Finally, on Oct. 11, the House suspended the rules and passed H.R. 2763, the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Improvements Act, by voice vote.
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