The continuing resolution the U.S. Senate passed yesterday that would fund the government through Nov. 15 was returned to the U.S. House today for consideration. After a closed door meeting this morning, House Republicans have decided to attach language to the CR to delay the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, for one year. While the bill is expected to pass the House, Senate Democrats and President Obama have repeatedly stated that they will not accept any CR with attachments that affect implementation of the health care law. Thus, the government seems destined to shutdown come Oct. 1.
The full picture of how scientists will be affected by a government shutdown is not clear. Federal agencies have not divulged their plans for shutting down, but we can make reasonable guesses about some things.
- Most of the scientists working at the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration and others will be furloughed until a government spending plan is passed.
- Some federal science facilities, like animal care facilities, will be staffed.
- In correspondence from the NIH to ScienceCareers, it appears that payment on existing grants will continue, as long as there are no issues with those payments.
- Grant submission dates after Oct. 1 may be delayed. But until you hear otherwise, you should try to submit your grant on or before the published deadline. (This information may be out of date. Follow links for updated information.)
- Grant review panels, also known as study sections, scheduled to meet Oct. 1 or later will be cancelled until the government resumes operation.
Stay tuned to the Policy Blotter for information on the government funding debate. And once we receive information about how this shutdown will affect scientists and science funding, we will post it immediately!
UPDATE: The U.S. House passed a resolution that would fund the government through Dec. 15 and delay the implementation of the Affordable Care Act for one year.