116th Congress begins, shut down continues

The 116th Congress began on January 3, 2019 with the swearing-in of new members. But the partial government shut-down has continued and the negative impacts are growing. Early in the new term, the House passed four remaining FY19 funding bills – which included funding increases for NSF, NASA, NEH, and AFRI consistent with those included in appropriations bills from the last Congress. The entire Oregon delegation, including Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR), voted for passage. Since then, the House has continued to send bills to the Senate. Oregon is among highly affected states due to impacts on federal employees of the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, US Coast Guard and other agencies.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has repeatedly said the Senate will not take up legislation the President does not support. President Trump has said he will not sign any spending bills into law until a border wall deal is reached. Now the longest in U.S. history, negotiations to end the partial government shutdown have broken down and there are no indications talks will start up again anytime soon. The Senate is scheduled to consider legislation that has been previously rejected by House leadership. The US House leadership canceled its January district work period, originally scheduled for the week of the Martin Luther King, Jr holiday, so that members may remain in Washington, D.C.

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation has guidance for researchers here.