- FY18 Appropriations Move Forward Without Budget Agreement
- Secretary Price Testifies on FY18 HHS Budget
- AAU Sends F&A Costs Letter to Secretary Price and Director Mulvaney
- Secretary DeVos Announces Rulemaking Committees for Obama Administration Regulations
- Department of Homeland Security Announces Continuation of DACA Program
FY18 APPROPRIATIONS MOVE FORWARD WITHOUT BUDGET AGREEMENT
According to latest news reports, the House and Senate will advance spending bills without a budget agreement or a bipartisan deal on a topline spending level. Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said the Senate will “move forward with some of the appropriations bills at last year’s levels, and then adjust them once we can reach a bipartisan agreement on how much we’re going to spend.” The House marked up its first full appropriations bill, the $88.2 billion Military Construction-Veterans Affairs measure, yesterday, which included a 3.7 percent increase for Veterans Affairs medical research over the Administration’s FY18 budget request.
SECRETARY PRICE TESTIFIES ON FY18 HHS BUDGET
Yesterday, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price testified before the Senate Appropriations Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee on the Administration’s FY18 budget. Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) began the hearing expressing strong concern with the proposed cuts, specifically those to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Chairman Blunt went on to state, “I will not write a bill this year that reduces funding for the National Institutes of Health.”
Secretary Price remarked the budget should not be critiqued for its spending levels but that it is equally, if not more important, to make funding decisions based on program success. He emphasized that too often, the budget process focuses on establishing topline spending levels but instead, should be an exercise in “reforming our federal programs to make sure they actually work.”
For FY18, the Administration has proposed funding NIH at $26.9 billion, a decrease of $7.2 billion or 21-percent below the FY17 funding level. The budget also proposes a 10-percent cap on facilities and administrative (F&A) costs for NIH grants and lowering the salary cap from the current Executive Level II (2) to Executive Level V (5). If enacted, the salary cap will drop to $151,700, reflecting a 21-percent cut to currently supported salary levels.
AAU’s summary of the Administration’s FY18 budget proposal can be found here.
AAU SENDS F&A COSTS LETTER TO SECRETARY PRICE AND DIRECTOR MULVANEY
On Monday, AAU sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney strongly opposing the proposed NIH funding cut and facilities and administrative (F&A) cost cap.
The letter warns that if enacted, the funding cut and F&A cost cap would “devastate the ability of universities to conduct NIH medical research in search of tomorrow’s cures.” The letter also addresses common misperceptions regarding F&A costs and urges the Administration to study the adverse impacts the proposed F&A cap would have on universities conducting biomedical research on behalf of NIH.
SECRETARY DEVOS ANNOUNCES RULEMAKING COMMITTEES FOR OBAMA ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced Thursday the Department will establish rulemaking committees on Borrow Defense to Repayment (BDR) and Gainful Employment (GE) regulations. The Department plans to publish its Notice of Intent on BDR and GE in the Federal Register June 16. The Department will conduct public hearings on both BDR and GE July 10 and July 12 of this year.
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY ANNOUNCES CONTINUATION OF DACA PROGRAM
The Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday its plans to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which is intended to protect registered undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, or “Dreamers.”
In the same announcement, the Department announced the termination of a proposed expansion of DACA, the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program, which would have covered parents of Dreamers, citing “no credible path forward to litigate the currently enjoined policy.” DAPA had never been implemented due to legal challenges resulting in a deadlocked 4-4 Supreme Court ruling. The Administration’s announcement formally ends the litigation.