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Budget: Congress finalizes 2013 appropriations, avoids government shutdown

by Susan R. Morrissey
March 21, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 12

With the fiscal year half over, Congress has passed legislation to fund the federal government through Sept. 30, the end of fiscal 2013. The measure gives increases to some key science agencies but leaves the across-the-board spending cuts, or sequestration, in place.

The bill, H.R. 933, passed the Senate on March 20 by a 73-26 vote and the House of Representatives the following day by a 318-109 vote. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill before March 27, when the current budget stopgap is set to expire.

The measure includes 2013 appropriations bills for defense, military construction and veterans affairs, agriculture, homeland security, and commerce, justice, and science. The bill would essentially fund the rest of the federal government at 2012 levels for the rest of fiscal 2013.

Under the bicameral legislation, the National Science Foundation’s budget would grow by $221 million, the Food Safety Modernization Act would receive implementation funds, NASA would get a slight increase in its Science Directorate, and the National Institute of Standards & Technology would get more money for its laboratories and technical research.

“This legislation provides funding for essential federal programs and services, helps maintain our national security, and takes a potential shutdown off the table,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal D. Rogers said after the bill’s passage. “I’m proud that we were able to reach across the aisle—and across Capitol Hill—to produce a meaningful, bipartisan bill.”


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