Sequestration Postponed But Remains a Threat
With negotiations going down to the wire, Congress passed a bill to address– at least temporarily – parts of the "fiscal cliff," including delaying the automatic budget cuts known as “sequestration” for two months. These drastic cuts could still go into effect on March 1 unless there is further congressional action. Besides the tax changes, the bill also includes $6 billion in spending reductions to “pay for” the two-month delay in sequestration, which could be applied to discretionary programs across the federal government; however, there is some expectation that that the cuts in the bill may not result in cuts to NIH and NSF, but this remains to be determined.
Notably, a delay of two months in the sequester means that it will now begin at the same time as the next likely deadline for the debt ceiling. It is important that advocates keep up the momentum to try to avoid large cuts to NIH and NSF.