Congress Passes Continuing Resolution to Avoid Government Shutdown
Congress prevented a government shutdown by passing a continuing resolution (CR) that was later signed by the president. The CR funds the government through December 9 at around FY2016 levels, with an approximate 0.5 percent cut across the board to comply with budget caps. The bill also provides $1.1 billion to fight the Zika virus and $500 million for flood and disaster relief in Louisiana and other states. The CR does not contain emergency funding for Flint, Mich., after legislators reached an agreement to include that funding in another bill.
The CR did not include 21st Century Cures despite early suggestions that it might. The 21st Century Cures bill aims to translate discoveries into treatments and cures, and may include additional funding for NIH. The House passed the bill in July 2015 with bipartisan support, but it has since stalled in the Senate. Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) released a statement indicating their desire to complete the effort before the end of the year, and House 21st Century Cures leaders Reps. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) voiced their support for finishing the legislation.
Congress will need to pass an omnibus funding bill or another CR by December 9 in order to prevent a government shutdown. Additionally, NIH and NSF won’t see increased funding until Congress passes an omnibus funding package. Contact your legislators here to tell them how important federal funding is for biomedical research.