FROM THE ARCHIVES: Budget Deal Falls Through; Sequestration Probable (October 5, 1990)

In celebration of COSSA’s 40th anniversary, we are diving into the decades of Washington Update archives to share articles from years past that resonate with today’s news.

Early in the morning of October 5, the House of Representatives rejected the budget deal negotiated by White House and congressional leaders. The compromise, which would have cut $40 billion from the FY 1991 deficit, failed by a vote of 197-254, reflecting a bipartisan rebuff of both President Bush and congressional leaders. Voting against the bill were 105 of the House’s 176 Republicans and 149 of the chamber’s 257 Democrats.

Washington awakes this morning to ask: what now? If action is not completed on a new continuing resolution, the government will be forced to shut down a wide variety of functions after the current resolution expires October 5. Failure to pass the stopgap measure will trigger automatic – and much-dreaded – 40 percent cuts in all programs. Moreover, the federal government’s authority to borrow money also expires October 5 since the debt ceiling has not been increased.

President Bush has threatened to veto any further continuing resolutions, thus chastising Congress for failing to accept the budget deal and creating fiscal chaos. If sequestration occurs, the impact on research funding will be severe. How long the sequestration will last and whether a new deal will be cut remains to be seen. Stay tuned.

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