Last week, President Trump signed a short-term stopgap funding deal to keep the federal government open until December 20th. The deal avoids a government shutdown, which would have occurred at midnight last night, and gives congressional leaders and the President four more weeks to negotiate a deal to fund the government for the remainder of the current fiscal year, which ends next October.
We remain hopeful that congressional leaders and the President will make a long-term deal, because there are important increases to programs that support Northeastern research in the funding bills currently under negotiation. Just the other day, congressional negotiators agreed upon top level spending numbers for the various federal agencies, which might mean they are making progress. But we are not overly optimistic.
As we have mentioned before, these short term “continuing resolutions” have become par for the course in DC in recent years. To make matters worse, the 2020 elections and the House impeachment inquiry are taking up a lot of energy in DC and have made both sides reluctant to negotiate on key issues, such as funding for the southern border. Although it seems that no one wants another government shutdown, it remains very possible that we will see the federal government funded through next November at prior fiscal year levels either through a year-long continuing resolution or through a series of short-term deals.
In the meantime, we will continue to convey to our congressional delegations and other key contacts in DC how important it is to enact these largely bipartisan increases to programs that support Northeastern research. We will also keep you apprised of any updates as they happen. As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions.