Washington Updates

Ryan Budget Passes House, Senate Will Not Consider, but FY15 Appropriations Move Forward

April 10, 2014

The House of Representatives adopted a FY15 budget today on a 219-205 party line vote. Budget resolutions set overall spending caps to guide the appropriations process. Since overall caps for FY15 were previously agreed to in the December 2013 budget deal that softened the impact of the sequester for two years, a new budget is unnecessary for appropriators to begin their deliberations and the Senate has no intention of taking the House-passed budget or crafting an...

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President's FY15 Budget Released

March 4, 2014

The White House submitted the President’s FY15 Budget Request to Congress today, marking the official start to the budget and appropriations process for the fiscal year beginning on October 1. Though non-binding on the Congress, the President’s budget outlines the Administration’s policy and spending priorities for the coming year and serves as a starting point from which lawmakers develop spending plans and potentially a longer budget blueprint. Unique to this year, the President’s request was not submitted in full, and many of its specific details will not be known until next week....

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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 (...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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 ...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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