Cong. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) to retire, State of the Union, then Budget

In a somewhat startling fashion, Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, Republican chair of the House Appropriations Committee, will step down at the end of this Congress. He has served for more than 20 years and has led this powerful committee of the "purse" with a steady hand. He will continue to chair the committee through the negotiations for a final FY 18 and the FY 19 appropriations bills. (His official statement is here.) As many know, the appropriations committee decisions affect the funding of all parts of the government, including medical research at the NIH, and the Department of Defense medical research funding. 

Tomorrow night at 9 p.m. EST, the President will deliver his first State of the Union address at the Capitol. Washington insiders will be dissecting each sentence of the President's message to determine what will be the coming priorities for his administration.

Current forecasts expect the President to deliver his FY19 budget to Congress on Monday, February 12th. As many know, the President's budget is considered a blueprint for spending priorities in the coming months. There is a general consensus that there will be another request for an increase in defense spending (perhaps up to $716 billion). The unknown budget numbers for non-defense, discretionary spending will continue to be the subject of much speculation. As in past years, the President's budget and final appropriations amounts will be a source of intense negotiations in the months ahead.