As you probably read, the Congress passed an omnibus funding bill for fiscal year 2017 during the first week of May, and the President signed that bill into law. This is good news, for we now have the budget stability needed to plan and carry out our research programs this year.
I was in Washington, D.C., the week before that bill was passed, and met with members of Congress and their staff to talk about how the National Labs provide the science and technology capability needed to carry out the DOE’s missions. I then gave them some example of the broad range of world-leading research we do here at our lab. I also talked about the high level of commitment that all of you bring to this research. All those I spoke with were extremely engaged in these conversations, asked great questions, and were very impressed with what we are doing here together.
I know that the uncertainty associated with the FY 18 budget process concerns many of you. I understand this, and ask that you remember that this only the first step in a rather long process. After the Administration sends the House and Senate their FY 18 budget request, probably next week, the appropriations committees will begin working on the bills. This process typically continues until October 1, and often beyond. This necessarily means an extended period of uncertainty. I ask you to try to focus over this period on what we do best: bringing science solutions to the world, which is a critical service for the nation.