January 24, 2018

More Continuing Resolutions, More Negotiations

Posted by Timia Crisp

The federal government shutdown after Congress failed to reach a funding agreement by the deadline. Photo credit: National Parks Conservation Association

On Monday, Congress passed a new continuing resolution (CR), ending the second government shutdown in five years. The current CR marks the fourth short term spending bill in fiscal year (FY) 2018 and only funds the government through 8 February. While Congress was able to pass a bipartisan spending bill that ensures that our federal science agencies can currently provide the information and services that protect our local communities, there is still much more work to do.

With all the spending bills in the last year, it may seem like we’ve been talking about science funding forever, and you wouldn’t be too off the mark. Not only is this the fourth CR this fiscal year (see more about the impacts of CRs on science), we are also entering the portion of the year where Congress starts consideration of the next fiscal year (in this case FY2019).

In February, the President is scheduled to release his budget proposal, starting the budget and appropriations process for FY2019. With FY2018 still being negotiated, it makes sense that the next few months will be an intense time for science funding.

Further complicating negotiations, Congress has yet to hash out an agreement on the top-line budget numbers – and if they do not come to a new agreement, sequestration will be reinstated. In order for our federal science agencies to receive robust funding, we first need a budget deal that maintains parity between defense and non-defense spending.

Here at AGU, we will be sure to update you as we navigate these muddled waters. Now more than ever, we need your voice. In the midst of TWO spending negotiations, it is imperative that we continue to speak up for science funding. Even those members that have been champions for science will need gentle reminders that Earth and space science are essential for our nation’s economic growth, our national security, and public well-being. With so many competing priorities, we need to ensure that science has a seat at the table so that our legislators know that Earth and space science should be a priority in any funding agreement.

We need you! Take some time to tell your legislator why science is essential to our nation. We’ve made it easy. Visit AGU’s Action Center TODAY!