- Budget and Reconciliation Update
- AAU, Associations Express Appreciation for Pell Grant Increase in Budget Reconciliation Bill; Emphasize That More is Needed
- AAU Joins Letter Asking Congressional Leaders to Delete Problematic Aspects of USICA, NSF for the Future Act, and EAGLE Act in Conference
- AAU Joins Letter Advocating for Repeal of Pell Grant Taxability in Reconciliation Package
- Virtual “Rally for Medical Research” Set for Sept. 23
- Registration Now Open for Sept. 22 Golden Goose Award Online Ceremony
- Upcoming Events
Budget and Reconciliation Update
Several House committees began or completed markups this week for the $3.5 trillion FY22 budget reconciliation package. House committees have been instructed to complete the markup process by Wednesday, September 15, but this non-binding deadline is expected to slip. Below is a brief set of highlights from each committee’s actions; a more comprehensive summary can be found on AAU’s website here . Staff will continue to update the summary as committees take further action:
House Education and Labor Committee: Began its markup yesterday (September 9) and is continuing today; the bill includes $761 billion in new spending, including funding for higher education and student aid programs. The committee released the bill text and a summary earlier this week.
House Science, Space, and Technology Committee: Also held a markup yesterday and approved its legislation on a 21-17 vote. The committee’s bill outlines $45.5 billion in new spending over the next decade. For a detailed breakdown of funding levels, please see AAU’s table analyzing the FY22 HSST reconciliation committee print. Further information is available on the committee website .
House Ways and Means Committee: Also began its markup September 9, continuing today, by considering tax expenditure provisions affecting health care, childcare, retirement plans, and more. The committee will consider other provisions, including tax increases, next week. The bill text and more information is available on the committee’s website. The committee is expected to release additional legislative text over the weekend.
AAU, Associations Express Appreciation for Pell Grant Increase in Budget Reconciliation Bill; Emphasize That More is Needed
AAU joined ACE and more than 20 other higher education organizations in a letter to House Education and Labor Committee leaders expressing appreciation for the committee’s draft reconciliation bill including substantial investments in students, educators, and institutions. These investments include a proposed $500 increase to the Pell Grant maximum award.
However, the letter also emphasizes that the proposed Pell increase falls short of what is needed to help more lower-income Americans go to college, and it commits the signing organizations to working to increase the amount as the bill moves forward in the legislative process.
AAU Joins Letter Asking Congressional Leaders to Delete Problematic Aspects of USICA, NSF for the Future Act, and EAGLE Act in Conference
Earlier this week, AAU joined other leading higher-education associations in a letter to House and Senate committee leaders expressing serious concerns about provisions of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, the NSF for the Future Act, and the Ensuring American Global Leadership and Engagement (EAGLE) Act as those bills go to conference. In particular, the letter asks for removal of provisions that, while designed to enhance research security, would actually be counterproductive or unnecessarily onerous.
The letter is consistent with arguments AAU made last month in a letter to congressional leaders about USICA, the NSF for the Future Act, and other legislation. The new letter also includes a memo addressing the creation of a new Section 124 reporting requirement, which would require institutions to maintain a “searchable” database that collects information from faculty and other staff. As the memo concludes, “Section 124 is unworkable, burdensome, overly complicated, and it’s unclear if it would actually discourage foreign influence or improve research security.”
AAU Joins Letter Advocating for Repeal of Pell Grant Taxability in Reconciliation Package
On September 3, AAU joined nine other higher-education associations in sending a letter to leaders of the House and Senate tax committees to urge them to repeal the taxability of Pell grants by incorporating the “Tax-Free Pell Grant Act” as part of their final FY2022 reconciliation bill. Since 1986, scholarships and grant aid used on non-tuition expenses (such as student housing and meal plans) have been taxed as a form of unearned income. Repealing this taxability for Pell grants would permit low-income students to retain more of this critical financial aid.
Virtual “Rally for Medical Research” Set for Sept. 23
The virtual “Rally for Medical Research” lobby day on Capitol Hill will take place on Thursday, September 23. AAU is again co-sponsoring the rally and virtual reception beforehand, which are being held online for the second year to protect the health and safety of all participants. The lobby day will take place on Thursday, September 23, with advocates meeting their congressional representatives and their staff via video and phone conference. The evening before, on September 22, rally organizers will host a virtual reception to celebrate medical research with all partners and participants. The rally and Hill lobby day are designed to encourage policymakers to make funding for the NIH a national priority and to raise awareness about continued investments in medical research.
AAU is again sponsoring the Rally for Medical Research. Registration is available here .
Registration Now Open for Sept. 22 Golden Goose Award Online Ceremony
Registration is now open for the 2021 virtual ceremony for the Golden Goose Award , an annual award honoring federally funded research with silly-sounding or obscure beginnings that has gone on to have enormous societal impact. AAU has been heavily involved in the award since its beginning nearly 10 years ago. This year’s ceremony will again honor three teams of researchers whose work demonstrates how scientific and technological advances that result from foundational scientific research supported by the federal government can profoundly impact society in unforeseen ways. Please RSVP here to join the ceremony virtually on September 22 at 4:00 p.m. You can also help spread the word by engaging with the Golden Goose Twitter account, which is marking the award’s 10-year anniversary by highlighting previous awardees’ stories.
SEPTEMBER 22 GOLDEN GOOSE AWARD ONLINE CEREMONY; 4:00 p.m. ET. More information available here .
SEPTEMBER 23 VIRTUAL “RALLY FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH;” 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. ET. More information (including registration and related events) available here .