On Dec. 11 the U.S. Senate advanced a U.S. House-passed continuing resolution that would fund the government at current levels through Dec. 18. The President signed the bill. Congress is now in the final hours of negotiating a budget bill to meet the December 18 deadline.
The University of Oregon signed on to a letter signed from a dozen other universities and hundreds of organizations representing thousands of people who work in science technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics urging U.S. Senate and House leaders to push through FY 2021 appropriations bills through Congress as quickly as possible. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Association of American Universities (AAU), and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities ( APLU) also signed the letter.
The letter states, “federal investments across more than two dozen defense and nondefense agencies provide the lifeblood for research, discovery, innovation and development in the United States, driving one of the most powerful engines for American prosperity and global leadership. Failing to complete work on the appropriations bills that fuel this engine in a timely manner impedes our ability to not only respond and recover from COVID-19, but also to address persistent and fundamental challenges such as chronic and infectious diseases, food and energy security, national security and natural disasters—all of which require advancements in science and technology fostered through federal investments.”
News reports indicate that text of a fourth pandemic relief package and final budget for FY21 could be released as early as Tuesday. Without congressional action by December 18, the federal government must shutdown.