- Budget and Appropriations Update
- CR Would Fund Defense Through FY18, Delay Shutdown
- Task Force on American Innovation Calls for Deal that Raises Budget Caps
- Tax Legislation Update
- Tentative Deal Reached, Negotiations Continue
- Higher Education Act Reauthorization Update
- Federal Communications Commission Votes to Repeal Net Neutrality Rules
- Administration Releases Fall 2018 Unified Agenda
- Associations Urge Congressional Leaders to Act on Behalf of DACA Participants
- Senate Committee Advances U.S. Patent and Trade Office Director Nomination
BUDGET AND APPROPRIATIONS UPDATE
House Leadership Wednesday filed a government funding bill to deliver to the Senate ahead of the funding deadline at midnight, December 22. The House bill temporarily extends government funding at 2017 levels through January 19. House republicans have stated they plan to vote on the package after voting on tax reform early next week, despite warnings that the package will not get the 60 votes required to pass the Senate.
The Task Force on American Innovation, of which AAU is a member, Tuesday issued a statement to urge congressional leaders to raise Budget Control Act caps. The statement notes, "To enable the U.S. to make critical R&D investments and enhance our global leadership position, Congress must cement a budget agreement that provides relief from the current budget caps, and make robust science investments a priority in final FY 2018 appropriations."
TAX LEGISLATION UPDATE
Congressional conferees are scheduled to release at 5:30pm details of their massive tax-overhaul legislation ( H.R. 1 ), and plan to vote on the measure early next week.
AAU President Mary Sue Coleman on Monday released a new blog titled " Don't Tax Student Aid ," in which she warns against imposing an unprecedented tax on certain private university endowments. The blog builds and expands on her previous post, " Promises of Pro-growth Tax Reform Fall Flat " and the December 8 multi-association letter to the House-Senate conference committee.
HIGHER EDUCATION ACT REAUTHORIZATION UPDATE
The House Education and Workforce Committee Tuesday passed the Higher Education Act Reauthorization bill, the PROSPER Act ( H.R. 4508 ) with a vote of 23-17. The bill now moves to the full chamber for consideration. We expect the legislation and its amendments will not be considered by the House until 2018.
Ahead of the markup, AAU joined several other associations in a letter to express deep concerns with the bill, including the proposed elimination of the 1.5 million grants made through the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program. The letter also notes that the Committee's rushed timeline does not allow sufficient time for public comment, "Instead of moving this legislation forward on an accelerated track, it is our hope you will put the interests of students first and revise this bill accordingly."
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION VOTES TO REPEAL NET NEUTRALITY RULES
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Thursday voted to pass its “ Restoring Internet Freedom ” order, which eliminates protections for network neutrality, reversing the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order . The order will go into effect in early 2018.
AAU President Mary Sue Coleman today released a statement to express serious concerns over the repeal of net neutrality and its harmful impact on higher education and, more broadly, on the capacity of nonprofit organizations that rely on high-capacity broadband to support the American public.
ADMINISTRATION RELEASES FALL 2018 UNIFIED AGENDA
The Trump Administration yesterday released the Fall 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions . AAU staff will be sorting through the document and will advise the CFR on potential issues of engagement in the coming weeks.
ASSOCIATIONS URGE CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS TO ACT ON BEHALF OF DACA PARTICIPANTS
AAU, along with 36 higher ed associations today sent a letter to thank Representative Taylor (R-VA), Rep. Newhouse (R-WA), and 33 other House Republicans for asking Speaker Ryan (R-WI) to take action to address President Trump’s rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, and provide a long-term legislative fix protecting Dreamers before the end of the year.
SENATE COMMITTEE ADVANCES U.S. PATENT AND TRADE OFFICE DIRECTOR NOMINATION
The Senate Judiciary yesterday advanced the nomination of Andre Iancu to be director of the U.S. Patent and Trade Office and Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property. Iancu is managing partner of Irell & Manella LLP, a Los Angeles based law firm that focuses primarily on intellectual property law. Iancu previously taught patent law at the University of California, Los Angeles.