Lawmakers in the US passed a resolution last week to keep the federal government funded for another month, ScienceInsider reports. This continuing resolution allows federal agencies to continue spending at their fiscal year 2017 levels while the budget for fiscal year 2018, which began in October, continues to be hashed out, it adds.
This state of affairs, ScienceInsider says, leaves room for uncertainty for science agencies. In his budget request back in March, President Donald Trump called for a nearly 20 percent cut to the National Institutes of Health budget, but Congressional lawmakers rebuffed that request and instead suggested a budget increase for NIH, with the House of Representatives proposing a $1.1 billion increase and the Senate $2 billion.
It adds that the National Science Foundation's situation is different but also "precarious" as the Trump Administration has sought an 11 percent decrease to its budget, while lawmakers have been considering smaller cuts to its funding. Still, ScienceInsider adds that some lawmakers have said if a new budget agreement includes raising the caps on domestic and military spending, some of those funds could go to NSF and other agencies.
ScienceInsider notes that this continuing resolution expires in mid-January.