Senate Passes Short-term FY2015 Continuing Resolution Clearing Measure for White House Approval

Senate Passes Short-Term FY2015 Continuing Resolution
Clearing Measure for White House Approval

Legislative Update
September 19, 2014

On September 18, the Senate passed House Joint Resolution 124, the Continuing Resolution (CR) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 that would fund most government operations at the FY 2014 level until December 11, 2014. The vote was 78-22, and the measure is now cleared for the President’s signature. The House of Representatives passed the resolution on September 17 by a vote of 319-108.

The CR avoids the threat of a government shutdown when FY2015 begins on October 1, since Congress was not able to pass any of the 12 regular appropriations bills in time for the start of the new fiscal year. Instead, it will return to Washington after the elections for a lame duck session. NAEVR has joined its advocacy colleagues in urging Congress to return to “regular order” and finalize FY2015 appropriations which adequately fund medical research, including vision research.

Since the CR includes new funding for Ebola response and research that was not within FY2014 spending levels, it makes an across-the-board cut of 0.0554 percent. This translates to an annualized cut of $378,000 to the National Eye Institute’s (NEI) FY2014 appropriation of $682.4 million, which is about the current $400,000 value of one investigator-initiated grant (R01), prior to any other cuts or transfers. Note that under the CR, NEI cannot spend by any date in FY2015 more than it spent by the same date in 2014.