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For science's sake, the government must approve FY20 spending bills

[2019.11.07, Thu 23:03] Once again, Congress is poised to approve a second continuing resolution to keep the U.S. government running when the current resolution expires Nov. 21. As some congressional leaders noted, it is unlikely Congress will reach agreement on any of the 12 fiscal year 2020 spending bills by the expiration date, raising serious concerns that funding will remain flat for government agencies into, or even through, 2020. The current CR keeps the U.S. government open but operating at FY2019 spending levels. Either scenario presents serious consequences for scientific research if federal agencies delay the rollout of new programs such as the National Quantum Initiative, a coordinated multiagency effort to support research and training in quantum information science. For science's sake, the government must approve FY20 spending bills. Without an FY2020 spending package, several federal agencies that support science risk the loss of funding increases approved by House or Senate appropriators - 10 percent for the Department of Energy's Office of Science, 5 percent for the National Nuclear Security Administration's Inertial Confinement Fusion Program, 6 percent for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, 7 percent for the National Science Foundation, and 6 percent for the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. Worse yet is the possibility of another partial government shutdown as memories of last 2019 January's 35-day shutdown, the longest in U.S. history, remind us that even minor disruptions in government funding could have a detrimental impact on important research.
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