Federal Relations

FY 2015 Appropriations Process Stalled

There are just two weeks left until Congress adjourns for the month of August (August 1st—September 5th). This week lawmakers will return to DC and try to advance a few pieces of legislation – including refilling the Highway Trust Fund and reaching a deal on veterans’ health care legislation – before the end of August.

On the appropriations front, there is not much news to report. With the Senate’s regular appropriations work stalled and an emergency spending request for migrant children taking up time and energy on Capitol Hill, a full government-wide continuing resolution (CR) now appears to be a near certainty for the fall. Congress has until September 30th – the end of the federal fiscal year – to complete appropriations work. Many senior appropriators say they now see a 12-bill CR as a near inevitability. The more pressing question in coming weeks for appropriators will be not if, but how long stopgap legislation would last and if any other provisions, including perhaps some border spending, might be attached to it. If a CR is approved, we are likely to see an omnibus spending bill in the lame-duck session after the midterm elections.

In other news, Cora B. Marrett announced that she will resign her position as Deputy Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) effective August 24th. Marrett was confirmed as NSF Deputy Director in 2011. She has also served as NSF’s acting director and acting deputy director. Marrett served as the first assistant director for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences directorate, and as assistant director for the Education and Human Resources directorate.