Over the last two days, the Senate and House passed legislation that will avert the fiscal cliff. The bill passed both houses in bipartisan fashion signaling that legislators understood that, even if it wasn’t their preferred deal, it was better than doing nothing.
Science funding was most threatened by sequestration. These across-the-board cuts would have cut more than 8 percent of the budgets of all federal research funding agencies and had deleterious effects on how science is conducted in this country. The deal passed yesterday postponed sequestration for two months giving science funding a temporary reprieve. However, these budget cuts will be much discussed in the coming months as the new Congress will become immediately embroiled in a debate over raising the debt ceiling.
Stay tuned to the Policy Blotter as we ramp up for the next budget battle over spending cuts and federal funding for basic research.