Federal Relations

Sequestration Update

Following their private meeting last week, President Obama and House and Senate leaders expressed confidence that they would be able to reach agreement on a means of averting the year-end “fiscal cliff” of expiring tax benefits and deep, across-the-board budget cuts required by the sequester.  Congress is out of session this week for the Thanksgiving holiday but congressional leaders and staff are reported to be continuing their talks.

If lawmakers fail to stop implementation of the budget sequester on January 2, discretionary spending would be cut across the board by 9.4 percent for defense and 8.2 percent for nondefense.  An analysis by AAAS shows that in FY13 this would result in cuts of $2.3 billion at the National Institutes of Health, $456 million at the National Science Foundation, $362 million at the Department of Energy Office of Science, and $1.2 billion in Defense Science and Technology.  The UW could lose up to $83 million in federal funding.