Federal Relations

January 2, 2019

As White House and Hill Leaders Meet on Day 12 of Partial Shutdown, House Dems Unveil Plan to Reopen Government

Congressional leaders from both chambers and both sides of the aisle are headed to the White House today for a briefing on border security.  This is the first such bipartisan meeting to take place since the start of the partial shutdown on Saturday, December 22.  At this point, it remains to be seen whether the meeting will turn into a negotiating session or it really will be a briefing on border security.  Read more about the meeting and the situation today here and here.

Meanwhile, with the partial shutdown now well into its second week, it is having an impact on a number of agencies that support scientific research agencies funded by a number of the unsigned appropriations bills.  Included on this list, for example, are the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA, both of which are funded through the Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) bill.  Both agencies have released information about grants, reviews and other procedures and processes.

The NSF has posted information about the shutdown for proposers and grantees here and for panelists and potential panelists here.

NASA released its shutdown plan a few days before the shutdown took effect, and it is available here.

In addition, in preparation for their assumption of control tomorrow, January 3, House Democrats have released a legislative package to reopen the federal government.  It has two components.  The first piece combines six of the seven unsigned appropriations bills, including the CJS measure, into a single vehicle and would fund the agencies in those measures through the rest of FY2019 at the levels approved by either the entire Senate or the Senate Appropriations Committee.  The second part of the package seeks to extend funding for the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill on a short-term basis through February 8 with no new funding for a border wall, in an attempt to give the Democrats additional time to look at the agency.

Details about the legislative package are available here.

Even if the package were to pass the House, it has little chance of being passed by the Senate or signed into law.