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Potential Partial Shutdown's Science Effect

The US government may be heading for a partial shutdown if a budget bill is not passed, a move that Nature News says would have an effect on scientific research.

As the New York Times notes, if Congress does not come to an agreement by Friday night on a series of appropriations bills or stopgap funding bills, the government will shut down Saturday. The sticking point, it adds, has been President Donald Trump's call for $5 billion in funding for a border wall. If the shutdown comes to pass, the Times says nine federal agencies would close.

As Congress passed five spending bills earlier this year for fiscal year 2019, including one covering the Department of Health and Human Services, Nature News says the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration would not be affected by a partial shutdown. However, it adds that other research agencies such as the National Science Foundation, NASA, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would be affected.

At NSF, Nature News says about 60 of its 2,000 or so employees would keep working during a shutdown, but that grant reviews and payments would be halted. It notes that after a shutdown in 2013, the agency had to reschedule numerous due dates.

The US government also shut down twice earlier this year, once for two days and once for a few hours, Nature News notes.