Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called for a Senate vote on a multiagency appropriation bill for fiscal 2009 with just hours left before a stopgap federal funding bill for the year was set to expire. The so-called omnibus spending bill (H.R. 1105) would provide funding for most federal agencies—except for the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs—for 2009. A bill that held agency budgets at 2008 levels expired on March 6. The omnibus bill provides funding increases for key science agencies such as NSF, NIST, NIH, and the Department of Energy Office of Science (C&EN, March 2, page 10). The House passed the measure on Feb. 25. The Senate vote did not take place before C&EN went to press. If the Senate does not clear the bill or if amendments are added requiring the measure to return to the House for another vote, congressional leaders have indicated they would move to pass a continued funding bill for the affected agencies that would hold budgets at 2008 levels for the rest of the fiscal year.