Congress Passes Bipartisan Budget Deal to Raise Spending Caps, Keep Government Open Until March 23

On February 9, Congressional leaders reached an agreement on a two-year deal to raise the budget caps that have limited federal spending since 2011. As COSSA has previously reported, these spending caps have limited the ability of Congress to pass full-year appropriations for fiscal year (FY) 2018 and diminished the chances of federal science agencies would see funding increases.

The budget deal, known as the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, increases discretionary spending by $385 billion above the existing caps for the next two years. This increase includes $131 billion in non-defense discretionary (NDD) funding, which includes federal research funding. The deal also includes additional funds to areas affected by natural disasters and funds for the Census Bureau to continue to prepare for the 2020 Census. This budget agreement is seen as major progress in a difficult fiscal and political environment.

Next on the appropriations agenda will be funding the government after March 23. The budget deal that passed on February 9 included another continuing resolution (CR) to maintain FY 2017 funding levels through March 23 to give Congressional leaders more time to finalize FY 2018 spending. Read COSSA’s full coverage of FY 2018 appropriations here.

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