A government shutdown seems imminent with the U.S. Senate voting 54 to 46 to table the latest House continuing resolution. The Senate, voting along party lines, chose not to pass the CR because the bill included language to delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act and removed the medical device tax from the bill. The Senate must now propose and pass a new bill to send to the House, continuing this game of ping-pong. The Senate CR will likely be a “clean” CR that will not include any language regarding the ACA, the same as the bill they proposed earlier this week. If the bill passes the Senate and the House votes on it before midnight, then a government shutdown can be avoided. However, that would mean that the House agrees to a CR that does not abolish or delay implementation of the ACA, a law they have been adamant about stopping.
For scientists, this means suspension of certain NIH and NSF operations, including no grant reviews and no new funds being administered. Stay tuned for further notices released by both government agencies and how it will affect lab operations.