U.S. Government Shutdown 2023: What it Means for SRCD Members
Wednesday, November 15, 2023
Federal Government Shutdown Averted – But Science is Under Threat
This week, a second government shutdown was temporarily averted, but House appropriations bills are being voted on, which could significantly reduce funding for critical scientific research. Learn how we got here, what SRCD is doing to support our members, and what you can do to help.
What’s happening in Congress? The House failed to pass appropriations bills to fund the federal government on time. In September 2023, Congress passed a temporary Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government using last year’s budget amounts. But instead of using that stop-gap time to finalize appropriations bills to fund the federal government more sustainably, a House leadership contest stopped business for weeks. The September CR was set to expire on November 17th. The House managed to avert a shutdown with days to spare, by passing a new CR that funds the government until early 2024. In the meantime, it has begun voting on appropriations bills that will set government funding levels for this fiscal year.
What does this mean for science? The House’s appropriations bills have alarming cuts to our most important science and research-based federal agencies and would harm vulnerable children and their families. Proposed amendments could cut the NIH budget by $3 billion, eliminate funding for the NIH’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, reduce Head Start funding, and more.
What is SRCD doing? SRCD has been working on behalf of our members in this chaos. Last week, we sent a letter to U.S. Congressional leadership calling for continued funding for several key programs that support children and families, as well as the critical research work that our members do.
SRCD has previously prepared information and resources explaining what CRs are and what members can expect during shutdown negotiations.
Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Dear SRCD Members,
It is highly likely that the U.S. federal government will shut down this weekend. We are writing today to help support you, our members, many of whom rely on federal grants and contracts to fund your important work.
If you have a federal grant or contract, or if your work relies on coordination with federal programs, we strongly recommend you contact your program officer immediately to get more information about what resources and services may be interrupted because of a potential shutdown. If a shutdown occurs, federal staff will not be able to communicate with you, so it’s important to reach out to them early to get specific support. Every shutdown is different, so we’ve prepared a memo that has more information about different possible scenarios and resource links.
SRCD has been working hard to ensure that the critical science that our members do is funded in Congress. In the last couple of months, we’ve signed on to seven letters to Congress to request much needed investments on science-based programs that would increase research capacity and expand on existing projects. We’ve also met with over 50 congressional offices and bipartisan appropriations committee staff in Congress to promote child development research and highlight the importance of our discipline.
However, there is still much to do! U.S. federal government shutdowns have a negative effect on the economy, and it’s our children and underserved members of our communities who suffer the most. Alongside rising child poverty rates, millions of children and their families now face the uncertainty of not having federal safety nets that provide shelter, food, and basic services. We know how impactful child poverty and insecurity can be on child development, which is why we are working with our coalition partners to tell Congress to reopen the federal government.
SRCD stands ready to support our coalition partners and our members if a shutdown occurs.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Please make sure to visit our website for more information and to follow our social media channels for updates.
Lindsay Turner Trammell,
SRCD Director for Policy