Higher education association leaders praise long-awaited federal spending package

On February 15, President Trump signed into law a $328 billion spending package to avoid a second partial government shutdown and complete the FY19 appropriations process. The package will finance the federal government for the seven months remaining of the 2019 federal fiscal year.

Final action on the FY19 budget involved seven appropriations bills. Although Congress enacted five appropriations bills last fall, the completion of FY19 still requires the passage of seven more bills. The remaining bills included funding for agencies important to research institutions such as the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), and the US Geological Survey. 

The long-awaited resolution of FY19 drew recognition and approval from higher education association leaders.  Mary Sue Coleman, president of the Association of American Universities, released a statement regarding the passage of the seven appropriation bills.

“We are pleased that the House and Senate have finally come together to reach a bipartisan agreement.” the statement said.  “Boosting federal support for the National Science Foundation, NASA, USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, and the National Endowments for the Humanities supports important research that helps ensure the protection and vitality of America’s public health, national security, and economic competitiveness. Going forward, lawmakers must not allow political brinkmanship to further harm U.S. innovation and prosperity.”