Late last night the House of Representatives approved the deal, passed by the Senate earlier in the day, to end the shutdown and avoid a breach in the debt ceiling. The deal establishes a continuing resolution (CR) to keep government open until January 15, and raises the debt ceiling until February 7. Over that three-month period, the CR extends funding at FY 2013 levels totaling $986 billion. The bill also will finally lead to a budget conference committee, made up of Democrats and Republicans, which will endeavor to work out a broader budget deal and reconcile the major differences between the House- and Senate-passed budgets from earlier in the year. The conference committee's job will not be easy given these differences (see analyses from the Bipartisan Policy Center on the House and Senate budgets for more), and failure could mean another shutdown come January.
Other language, carried over from previous CR proposals, would ensure NOAA has the funds to keep the Joint Polar Satellite System and the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite system on schedule. Additionally, authority for the Department of Homeland Security to enter R&D agreements with external nontraditional partners would be extended, and funding is provided for the public health emergency-oriented Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.