House and Senate leaders announced an agreement to start the new fiscal year on October 1, 2012, with a Continuing Resolution that would last six months. A vote to confirm the agreement will occur in September, after details are worked out over the August recess. Most agencies are likely to receive funding at the FY 2012 levels.
The political science program at the National Science Foundation and the economics research at the National Institutes of Health, both of which were threatened by recent House actions, will remain safe for another six months. Further budget actions will not be undertaken until spring, when the fall elections are past and the results known.
The Continuing Resolution will not affect the possibility of major cuts that could occur under sequestration if Congress fails to agree to a deficit reduction plan by January 2, 2013, in accordance with the Budget Control Act.
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