Don’t try to take the money to the bank. But this week Congress plans to pass 2019 spending bills that would give healthy increases to the National Science Foundation (NSF), NASA, and a handful of other science agencies that are now closed because of the partial shutdown of the U.S. government.
Given the current partisan fight over a border wall, it’s no surprise that the Democratic-led House of Representatives and the Republican-led Senate will be voting on different bills. Neither version is expected to be adopted by the other body until congressional Democrats and President Donald Trump can reach some sort of deal to end the monthlong shutdown.
When that finally happens, the numbers contained in this week’s appropriations measures stand a good chance of becoming the final spending levels for the current fiscal year, which ends on 30 September. That’s because both bills are based on a conference agreement hashed out last fall by top appropriators in each house.