Senate Approves FY2020 CR, CJS Bill Advances in Committee -UPDATED

Senate Approves FY2020 CR, CJS Bill Advances in Committee -UPDATED

The Senate passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) today to keep the government operating until November 21.  The CR is needed because none of the regular FY2020 appropriations bills has cleared Congress yet and FY2020 begins on Tuesday.  [UPDATE: PRESIDENT TRUMP SIGNED THE CR INTO LAW ON SEPTEMBER 27.] The Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) bill that includes NASA and NOAA did take a step forward though, with approval by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The CR passed the House last week, so with Senate approval today the only remaining step is getting President Trump’s signature.  Word is that he will sign it, but as the saying goes “it’s not over till it’s over.”  He has until midnight Monday, September 30, to sign it or government departments and agencies will have to close down for lack of funds.  [UPDATE: PRESIDENT TRUMP SIGNED THE CR INTO LAW ON SEPTEMBER 27.]

No exceptions are included in the bill for NASA, so it will be kept at its current FY2019 spending level until a new appropriations bill is passed. NASA had hoped it would be allowed to spend money above FY2019 levels for the Artemis program, but that will have to wait.

The CR gives Congress seven more weeks to complete work on the 12 regular appropriations bills.  Ten passed the House this summer, but none has cleared the Senate.  The Senate Appropriations Committee has been busy over the past three weeks marking up its bills and 10 have now cleared the full committee, but none has reached the floor.  The Senate and House are scheduled to be in recess for the first two weeks of October.

The CJS bill was approved by the full committee today with no substantive changes to the subcommittee’s version adopted on Tuesday.  They approved $22.75 billion for NASA.  As reported earlier, it includes some, but not all, of the requested funds for Artemis.  This article will be updated with more details after the complete committee report is available, probably later today.

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