Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) effectively ended debate for now on the FY 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations after he was unable to reach an agreement with Republicans over amendments. The CJS bill funds NSF, Census, NIJ and other agencies. The CJS bill, which was being considered as part of a “minibus” including two other “non-controversial” funding bills, was largely seen as a bellwether for gauging the Senate’s appetite for passing funding bills before the end of the federal fiscal year on September 30th and before the November midterm elections.
This all comes just days after the Senate Appropriations Committee indefinitely postponed consideration of their FY 2015 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill, which includes funding for NIH and Pell Grants. The Senate Labor-HHS-Education subcommittee approved the bill by a voice vote earlier this week and was expected that the full committee would hold a markup on today. There has been no information provided on whether the action will be rescheduled.
It seems that the fate of the FY 2015 appropriations process is unknown; it is unclear when or if either bill will be taken back up in the Senate. And it is becoming more and more clear that we will see a continuing resolution (CR) in September. We will keep you posted on these and other developments.