- SASC Announces FY22 NDAA Markup Schedule; CNSR Sends Letter Outlining Recommendations for Defense S&T Programs
- Senate Majority Leader Outlines Democrats’ Priorities for Upcoming Work Period
- Reminder: Commerce Department Bureau of Industry and Security Invites Applications for Technical Advisory Committees Members
- AAU, Associations Urge Congressional Leaders to Include in Infrastructure Package Investments in Broadband for Postsecondary Students and Institutions
- AAU, Associations Urge LHHS Subcommittee Leaders to Invest in Educator Preparation Programs
- FY22 Appropriations Update; HSST Chairwoman Johnson Sends Appropriations Proposals to HAC
- AAU, Higher Education Community Send Letter to ED on Topics for Negotiated Rulemaking
- AAU, Associations Urge Education Secretary Cardona to Expand Eligibility for Federal TRIO Programs to Dreamers
- ICE Withdraws Duration-of-Status NPRM
- DOE Seeks Feedback on Removing Barriers to Participation in Funding Programs
- OSTP Requests Information to Improve Federal Scientific Integrity Policies
- Upcoming Events
SASC Announces FY22 NDAA Markup Schedule; CNSR Sends Letter Outlining Recommendations for Defense S&T Programs
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed (D-RI) and Ranking Member Jim Inhofe (R-OK) announced the full committee and subcommittee markup schedule for the FY22 NDAA. Subcommittee markups will take place on July 19 and 20, followed by full committee markup on July 21 and, if needed, on July 22.
On Wednesday, the Coalition for National Security Research, of which AAU is a member, sent a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees outlining recommendations for the Defense Science & Technology programs as the committee begins to craft the FY22 NDAA. Emphasizing that “lower funding levels for Defense S&T could threaten the dominance of the U.S. military,” CNSR urged Congress to reject cuts to the program in the FY22 budget request and to increase authorized funding by 6% instead. CNSR also urged Congress to reject cuts to basic research programs and to increase authorized funding for University Research Initiatives, including the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative program and the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program. The coalition also highlighted cuts in funding for the Minerva Research Initiative and asked Congress to authorize $17 million instead.
Senate Majority Leader Outlines Democrats’ Priorities for Upcoming Work Period
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) sent a letter to his Senate colleagues on the Democrats’ priorities for the upcoming work period. Schumer noted that he plans to “keep working to pass President Biden’s American Jobs and Families Plan.” Schumer also stated his intention for the Senate to “consider both the bipartisan infrastructure legislation and a budget resolution with reconciliation instructions…” Schumer advised senators to “be prepared for the possibility of working long nights, weekends, and remaining in Washington into the previously-scheduled August state work period.”
Reminder: Commerce Department Bureau of Industry and Security Invites Applications for Technical Advisory Committees Members
Earlier this year, the Bureau of Industry and Security at the Department of Commerce announced that it is recruiting candidates to serve on one of its seven Technical Advisory Committees. TAC members advise the department on the technical parameters for export controls applicable to dual-use items and on the administration of those controls. The committees are composed of representatives from industry, academia, and the U.S. government. The deadline for applications is September 30, 2021.
AAU, Associations Urge Congressional Leaders to Include in Infrastructure Package Investments in Broadband for Postsecondary Students and Institutions
AAU joined ACE and 20 other higher education associations and organizations in sending a letter to the leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee to “include dedicated investments in broadband infrastructure for postsecondary students and institutions in any infrastructure package under consideration.”
The letter highlighted how the pandemic has exacerbated preexisting digital divides and affected certain students’ and institutions’ ability to access the resources they needed to pivot to online instruction. Addressing these gaps, the letter noted, would have “benefits far beyond the students and schools immediately impacted.” The letter also urged Congress to expand the Emergency Broadband Benefit and to make it permanent. In addition, it asked Congress to consider how state prohibitions on public- or government-owned networks or on public networks owning or leasing fiber optic assets impact public education and research networks.
AAU, Associations Urge LHHS Subcommittee Leaders to Invest in Educator Preparation Programs
AAU joined ACE and 35 other organizations in urging the House and Senate leaders of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations Subcommittee to make investments in federal government programs intended to address shortages in the educator pipeline and the lack of diversity among educators. The letter urged lawmakers to increase funding in the FY22 appropriations bill for the IDEA Personnel Preparation program; the Teacher Quality Partnership Grants under the Higher Education Act; and the Augustus F. Hawkins Centers of Excellence. “These programs together have suffered an ongoing diminishment of funds in the last several years, moving steadily downhill as the shortage of educators steadily has grown, exacerbated by the COVID pandemic,” the letter noted.
FY22 Appropriations Update; HSST Chairwoman Johnson Sends Appropriations Proposals to HAC
Last week the House Appropriations Committee advanced six spending bills to the House floor for consideration, including Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA, Financial Services-General Government, Interior-Environment, Legislative Branch, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, and State-Foreign Operations. In addition, the Homeland Security Subcommittee and the Defense Subcommittee approved their FY22 spending bills. The full committee and the remaining subcommittees will resume markups on July 12.
On July 1, House Science Committee Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) sent three letters with FY22 appropriations proposals to House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). The letters address the president’s FY22 budget request for various federal agencies and programs that support the nation’s science, technology, and innovation enterprise.
AAU, Higher Education Community Send Letter to ED on Topics for Negotiated Rulemaking
AAU, ACE, and 35 other organizations in the higher education community have sent a letter to the Department of Education on topics that the department should consider as part of its stated intention to pursue negotiated rulemaking on programs under the Higher Education Act. The letter emphasized that any effort to revise regulations should promote opportunity for all students and enhance institutional efforts. It urged that regulations should produce processes that are data-driven, transparent, and targeted to the issues they are meant to address. The letter also asked the department to employ risk-based oversight and enforcement.
Topics proposed in the letter include change of ownership and change in control of institutions of higher education; standards of administrative capability; borrower defense to repayment; the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program; gainful employment; Pell Grant eligibility for prison education programs; TRIO programs; Section 117; and more.
AAU, Associations Urge Education Secretary Cardona to Expand Eligibility for Federal TRIO Programs to Dreamers
AAU joined 86 associations and organizations in urging Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to remove the requirement that participants in TRIO programs be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The restrictive regulations, according to the coalition’s letter, “close the doors of TRIO services” to students who meet all other eligibility requirements but are undocumented or lack a pathway to lawful permanent residence. Expanding eligibility, the coalition notes, would especially benefit Dreamers and the more than 427,000 undocumented immigrants enrolled in higher education.
ICE Withdraws Duration-of-Status NPRM
Yesterday, DHS withdrew a notice of proposed rulemaking published on September 25, 2020, that would have revised DHS regulations governing the length of stay for F, J, and certain I nonimmigrants. The proposed rule would have placed a two- to four-year limit on admission for many international students, created a complicated extension-of-stay process, and placed needless administrative burdens on international students, scholars, and institutions.
Last fall AAU, along with several other members of the higher education community, had urged DHS to withdraw the proposed rule.
DOE Seeks Feedback on Removing Barriers to Participation in Funding Programs
The Department of Energy has released an RFI “to understand the current barriers and actions needed to make its funding opportunities and innovation and entrepreneurship activities more inclusive, just, and equitable, in line with the Administration’s climate goals.” The RFI is intended to inform DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Office of Economic Impact and Diversity. Based on responses to the RFI, DOE may release funding opportunities and provide other services or measures “to support a just and inclusive innovation ecosystem.” Responses are due August 6, 2021, by 5:00 p.m. ET.
OSTP Requests Information to Improve Federal Scientific Integrity Policies
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is seeking information to “help improve the effectiveness of Federal scientific integrity policies to enhance public trust in science.” Specifically, OSTP is seeking information on the effectiveness of federal scientific integrity policies and needed areas of improvement, good practices federal agencies could adopt to improve scientific integrity, and other topics or concerns that such policies should address. Responses are due July 28, 2021, by 5:00 p.m. ET. AAU is in discussions with APLU, COGR, and AAAS on how to respond to the RFI.
SEPTEMBER 22 GOLDEN GOOSE AWARD ONLINE CEREMONY; 4:00 p.m. ET. More information available here.