- Senate Continues Floor Consideration of EFA; AAU Monitoring Amendments
- Budget and Appropriations Update
- Senate Commerce Committee Advances Eric Lander Nomination
- AAU Joins Associations on USCIS Comment Letter Regarding Administrative Barriers to Immigration
- Education Department Issues Q&A on Civil Rights and COVID Reopening, Announces Dates for Title IX Hearings
- Upcoming Events
SENATE CONTINUES FLOOR CONSIDERATION OF EFA; AAU MONITORING AMENDMENTS
As the Senate began debate Monday on the Endless Frontier Act (S. 1260), AAU President Barbara Snyder issued a statement outlining our significant concerns with provisions currently under consideration in the Senate.
Several provisions dealing with multiple issues around science and security have been added to the base text of the bill, as well as others proposed as floor amendments to the legislation. Senators have filed more than 400 amendments to the bill, and debate is anticipated to continue into next week. Information on amendments and votes to date can be viewed here . “While AAU strongly supports the bill’s core goals to strengthen the National Science Foundation, American innovation, and our nation’s economic competitiveness and security, we fear those goals will be undermined by many of the additional provisions that were not part of the original legislation, but that the Senate is now considering,” AAU’s statement said.
The White House has published a Statement of Administration Policy supporting the bill, and a summary of the legislation is available from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) office here . AAU will continue to monitor the situation and provide any further updates as necessary.
BUDGET AND APPROPRIATIONS UPDATE
The White House announced that President Biden’s full FY22 budget proposal will be released on May 28. AAU staff will begin reviewing the budget and updating our summary .
According to CQ, House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-KY) said House Democrats may not employ a traditional budget resolution this year, but rather a budget “shell” or framework. This will allow House leadership to use budget reconciliation and a “deeming" resolution to set appropriations spending levels. Yarmuth’s comments come amid disagreements within the Democratic Party on how to set topline discretionary numbers for defense and nondefense programs, which is an essential part of setting a traditional budget resolution.
CQ also reports that House subcommittee and full committee markups on appropriations measures will begin on June 24 and continue for the next three weeks.
SENATE COMMERCE COMMITTEE ADVANCES ERIC LANDER NOMINATION
On Thursday, the Senate Commerce Committee voted to advance President Biden’s nomination of Eric Lander to lead the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy . Biden has elevated the position to Cabinet level. While the voice vote was bipartisan, five Republican senators voted against the nomination: Sens. Marsha Blackburn (TN), Ted Cruz (TX), Ron Johnson (WI), Mike Lee (UT), and Cynthia Lummis (WY). The Senate has not yet scheduled floor consideration of Lander’s nomination.
AAU JOINS ASSOCIATIONS ON USCIS COMMENT LETTER REGARDING ADMINISTRATIVE BARRIERS TO IMMIGRATION
On Wednesday, AAU joined ACE and more than 30 other higher education associations in submitting comments to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The comment letter outlines several ways the agency can remove administrative barriers to immigration and international education in the United States by revising rules or issuing new administrative policies. “Over the past several years, we believe core problems for prospective international students and scholars include the lack of predictability that surrounds the visa and immigration process, as well as the extremely long processing times and increased fees,” the letter says. “Students need assurance that the rules will not suddenly change so they can make plans. Employers also need certainty so they can engage in appropriate workforce planning.”
EDUCATION DEPARTMENT ISSUES Q&A ON CIVIL RIGHTS AND COVID REOPENING, ANNOUNCES DATES FOR TITLE IX HEARINGS
The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights recently released a resource titled “ Questions and Answers on Civil Rights and School Reopening in the COVID-19 Environment .” The document outlines responsibilities of educational institutions as they reopen under civil rights laws, including students with disabilities, discrimination based on other traits, and Title IX.
On Monday, the office also announced dates and released information about virtual public hearings for a new rule to better enforce Title IX provisions regarding campus sexual misconduct. The hearings will be held June 7-11. For more information, see the OCR announcement here.
MAY 31 GOLDEN GOOSE AWARD 2021 SPONSORSHIP DEADLINE; More information here .