US Congress leaves science agencies hanging — again

By Jeremy Rehm

Lawmakers in the US Congress are running out of time to pass a budget for the 2019 fiscal year, and have yet to resolve major disagreements over climate-change and environment programmes.

Although the federal government is funded through 30 September, politicians in the Senate and the House of Representatives have just 11 working days before then to reach agreement on the funding for key science agencies. The budgets of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) are among those still being negotiated.

The Senate has approved two 2019 spending bills, and is expected to vote on more later this month. The House, which has adjourned for the month of August, has passed three. But the two chambers need to iron out the differences in their proposals before sending them to President Donald Trump to sign into law.

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