Washington Updates

Impasse Forces Federal Shutdown

October 1, 2013


Last night, Congress was unable to reach an agreement on continuing funding for the federal government into the next fiscal year forcing a government shutdown today.  While federal agency staff will work this morning to shut down all but the essential activities of their agencies, Congress will meet again later this morning but with no clear path to resolve this matter.

Yesterday, the House and Senate bounced a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government temporarily back and forth:  the House, inserting language to delay and modify the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to the Read more about Impasse Forces Federal Shutdown

Steps Toward a Deal on Federal Shutdown and Debt Limit

October 15, 2013

After weeks of dueling press conferences, Washington policymakers worked through the weekend on a deal to reopen the federal government and increase the federal debt limit. In recent days, Senate leaders have moved into the lead on the negotiations and outlines of a potential deal have begun to emerge. The focus today is on how House Republicans will react and how quickly any deal can move through the Congress to the President. If progress in these talks are to result in a solution by late in the week to avoid a breach in the debt limit on October 17, House Republicans will need to be Read more about Steps Toward a Deal on Federal Shutdown and Debt Limit

Bipartisan Senate Deal to End Federal Shutdown and Raise Debt Limit

October 16, 2013


After weeks of drama, Senate leaders today announced a bipartisan deal to end the federal government shutdown, address the debt limit and send the House and Senate dueling FY14 Budget Resolutions to conference.  While the timing remains unclear, it seems likely the Senate will vote on the measure this evening, followed at some point tonight by the House and then to the President for his signature.  It is not yet clear when the federal government will reopen since the timing is difficult to predict, but it may be as early as tomorrow.   

As described, key Read more about Bipartisan Senate Deal to End Federal Shutdown and Raise Debt Limit

Federal Government Open, Underlying Issues Unresolved

October 21, 2013

With the latest fiscal showdown over, the dust is beginning to settle in Washington and the federal government is returning to normal operations.  Very late last Wednesday night, lawmakers approved and the President signed a Senate-formulated deal to fund federal agencies and avoid default. On an 81-18 vote, the Senate passed the package that funds the government at Fiscal Year 2013 levels through January 15 and suspends the debt ceiling until February 7; the House followed suit, passing the measure 285-144. Unlike the Senate, where the Read more about Federal Government Open, Underlying Issues Unresolved

New Report Highlights Harvard Companies Created from Federally Funded Research

February 1, 2013

A new report released by The Science Coalition, an advocacy organization, illustrates one of the many returns on investment of federally funded scientific research: the creation of new companies. In Sparking Economic Growth 2.0, three Harvard companies are highlighted among 100 companies that trace their roots to federally funded university research and its role in bringing transformational innovations to market, creating new jobs and contributing to economic growth. Check out the report and the profiled Harvard companies  Read more about New Report Highlights Harvard Companies Created from Federally Funded Research

Murray and Ryan Reach Small Budget Deal Partially Alleviating Sequester

December 11, 2013

Last night, budget conference co-chairs Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) finalized an agreement for the fiscal year that began October 1. The deal, though not a complete elimination of sequester, provides two years of partial relief from sequestration, while also setting top line discretionary spending levels this fiscal year and next. The deal still has to be approved by the full Congress. If passed as expected, the House and Senate appropriations committees will get to work on the year’s 12 funding bills with the intent of packaging all or most together for Read more about Murray and Ryan Reach Small Budget Deal Partially Alleviating Sequester

Senate Approves Murray-Ryan Budget Deal, Now Goes to President for Signature

December 18, 2013


The Senate today approved the budget deal formulated by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) on a 64-36 vote. All Democrats, the Senate’s two Independents, and 9 Republicans voted in favor. The House passed the measure last week, so it now goes to the President, who has said he will sign it into law.

The deal, which provides for a partial easing Read more about Senate Approves Murray-Ryan Budget Deal, Now Goes to President for Signature

Short Extension of Current Funding Likely Ahead of January Deadline

January 10, 2014

Following the December budget agreement that partially eased the impact of sequester this fiscal year and next, Congressional appropriations leaders continue to negotiate the details of a package of 12 funding bills for the fiscal year that began on October 1, 2013. To date, government has been operating under a stopgap funding vehicle called a continuing resolution that Read more about Short Extension of Current Funding Likely Ahead of January Deadline

Bipartisan Omnibus Spending Bill Finalized

January 14, 2014


Late yesterday, House and Senate appropriators released a $1.012 trillion omnibus funding bill for FY14 that provides defined spending levels and program priorities for the current fiscal year. The legislation was made possible by the Murray-Ryan lead bipartisan budget measure that passed in December and opens the door to restoring some level of order to the federal budget process over the next year.

While we are still combing through the details of the massive package, generally, as expected, the bill offers small funding increases over last year’s post Read more about Bipartisan Omnibus Spending Bill Finalized

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