On October 17, HR. 2775 the “Continuing Appropriations Resolution of 2014” was signed into law by the President, extending the debt ceiling through February 7, 2014 and temporarily restoring funding for government agencies. The legislation funds federal agencies only until January 15, 2014, and at the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 enacted levels, which reflect the first sequestration cuts that took effect in March and a discretionary funding level of $986 billion; the amount available to the appropriators to fund FY 2014 federal government programs.  The legislation also spurred the creation of a bipartisan, bicameral, Budget Conference Committee under the leadership of Representative Paul Ryan, chair of the House Budget Committee and Senator Patty Murray, chair of the Senate Budget Committee.

The Budget Conference Committee has a December 13, 2013, deadline to negotiate the differences in spending levels for FY 2014 between the House and the Senate and to issue a report.  Topics expected to be discussed include the development of a framework for an alternative or replacement to the second round of sequestration cuts to domestic and defense programs scheduled to take effect on January 15, 2014, and the long- term deficit reduction plan calling for over $ 1 trillion in deficit reduction over the next nine years.  The Budget Conference Committee is expected to address differences in the House and Senate budget plans, and the future of sequester cuts.  The Budget Conference Committee may start meeting the week of October 28. Issues surrounding how the Committee will deliberate are being discussed by Congressional staff and it is not yet certain what the scope of the budget conference will include.  The Committee may chiefly focus on replacing the next round of sequester cuts and setting budget caps for FY 2014. 

As the Budget Committee deliberates, the ASM will be advocating for increased spending for research and public health and the highest possible appropriations level for research programs.   

For information, please visit the ASM Public Policy webpage at: http://www.asm.org/ResearchFunding.  

To see the members of the Budget Committee go to Budget Conference Committee