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At around 8 pm last night, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers introduced omnibus appropriations for FY 2014, the fiscal year that began this past October. Here we look at how this would affect the astronomical sciences.

This Action Alert requests that AAS members email or call their representatives in Congress to end the budget sequester and support strong investments in basic research. Instructions on whom to contact and how to do so are provided along with sample communications.

Last week's plots may have given the impression that the NASA SMD division budgets, and changes therein, were all on the same scale; they're not. Here's a short addendum with a more appropriately scaled plot.

To provide greater context to our discussion about the NASA Science Mission Directorate budget, which we began last post, here are two plots of total SMD funding over time.

Last post, we took our first look at the potential budget for the coming fiscal year, FY 2014, which began 28 days ago. This time, we'll dive a little deeper into the budgetary outlook for NASA in FY 2014, as the two chambers of Congress begin the budget negotiations mandated by their crisis-ending deal.

The last few days have brought welcome news of a potential end to the government shutdown. Whether you believe there can be a long-term, large-scale budget bargain or not, its important to look at where this Congress left off when they last considered funding the government in something like the "normal" way.

The federal government remains shut down. We are sorting out its effects on our astronomical sciences, and we're asking you for your stories, which we'll collect for a letter to Congressional leaders.

At the Golden Goose Awards Ceremony in Washington, DC, a cadre of researchers were recognized for seemingly obscure basic research that has reaped huge and wholly unexpected rewards in societal applications.

Josh Shiode, the AAS's incoming John N. Bahcall Public Policy Fellow, blogs about his somewhat meandering journey from research scientist to policy wonk.

The AAS needs members' help to convince Congress of the importance of astronomical research. Please get involved by signing up for our Communicating With Washington program. Deadline: 1 August 2013.

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