With little time to spare before the Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government ran out on December 9, Congress passed a bill to extend funding for the 2017 fiscal year (FY) through April 28, 2017. This short-term CR would maintain funding across all federal government agencies at FY 2016 funding levels, minus an across-the-board 0.19 percent cut.
The CR provides an opportunity for the 115th Congress and President-elect Donald Trump to use the budget as a vehicle to repeal the Affordable Care Act, as well set spending priorities for the final five months of FY 2017. As noted in the November 2016 issue AERA Highlights, Trump has expressed interest in investing in infrastructure, reducing taxes, and lifting the sequester cuts for defense spending. These priorities are likely to be reflected in the proposed FY 2018 budget.
AERA is working with broad coalitions to advocate for continued funding support for education research and to prevent non-defense discretionary spending from being targeted for cuts. In a letter currently being circulated for organizational sign-ons, AERA has joined NDD United to encourage a balanced approach to replacing sequestration. Those who wish to sign an institution onto the NDD United letter may do so here. Without raising the budget caps, federal programs, including education research, would be subject to potentially devastating spending cuts.
In related news, Trump announced on December 17 that he picked Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) to be the director of the Office of Management and Budget. Mulvaney, a leader of the conservative House Republican Freedom Caucus, has been a champion of balanced budgets and less regulation.