HomeWashington Letter2018 ▶ Partial Government Shutdown Looms
Partial Government Shutdown Looms

Congress and the Administration have one week left to reach an agreement finalizing the seven remaining spending bills for fiscal year (FY) 2019, including the Interior-Environment bill, which funds the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); the Food and Drug Administration-Agriculture bill; and the State Department-Foreign Operations bill, which funds global health programs at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). All of the spending
bills must either be enacted by Dec. 7, 2018, when the current temporary spending measure expires, or Congress must pass another temporary spending measure to provide more time to work out an agreeement
. If neither pass, they will face a partial government shutdown.

If Congress and the administration fail to agree on the spending bills, the good news for the respiratory research community is that the NIH, CDC and most other health agencies will be spared from extensive disruption. The health spending bill, along with the Department of Defense spending bill, was enacted in late October, so these agencies have already received their FY2019 budgets. However, in the event of a government shutdown, the EPA, FDA and other agencies will be closed as their staff will be on furlough.

The potential for a partial government shutdown is growing more likely by the day as the President and Congress have not agreed on the inclusion of a border wall funding package in the Homeland Security spending bill. A likely scenario is that Congress will pass another temporary spending measure funding government programs until just before the holidays if agreement cannot be reached by the Dec. 7 deadline.

Last Reviewed: November 30, 2018