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CFR Update, December 6, 2017


  • Tax Legislation Update
    • House and Senate Proceed to Conference
    • Updated Tax Proposal Side-by-Side Available
  • Budget and Appropriations Update
    • Funding Negotiations Continue
    • 34 House Republicans Call for DACA Fix by Year's End
  • HEA Reauthorization Talking Points Available
  • SCOTUS Allows Travel Ban to Take Effect
  • Facebook Live Discussion on DACA and STEM
  • 2018 CFR Leaders, Meeting Schedule Announced


The Senate voted 51-49 early Saturday morning to approve its version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. As passed, it maintains the tax-exemption for tuition waivers and retains the student loan interest deduction. An amendment revised the endowment excise tax provision by raising the taxable threshold from $250,000 per student to $500,000. It is unclear if a compromise will be reached by conference committee or if the House will choose to adopt the Senate version.

The Senate today, by a 51-47 vote, approved a motion to go to conference. The House voted Monday to proceed to conference and Speaker Ryan named the following conferees on Tuesday: Kevin Brady, Diane Black, Rob Bishop, Greg Walden, Peter Roskam, Devin Nunes, Kristi Noem, Don Young, and John Shimkus. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi named the following representatives as conferees: Richard Neal, Sander Levin, Lloyd Doggett, Raul Grijalva, and Kathy Castor.

AAU has updated the Tax Reform Proposal Side-by-Side Matrix on the Taxation and Finance part of the website.


House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen on Saturday introduced a CR (H.J. Res. 123) to fund the government through December 22 to avoid a December 9 shutdown, and allow additional time for budget negotiations. House Democrats are currently withholding their votes, making House Freedom Caucus votes necessary to pass the two-week CR. Though weary of stalling tax reform efforts, Freedom Caucus members are reportedly working to garner a commitment from Speaker Ryan that any FY18 budget negotiations will not include increased spending for nondefense programs. This Thursday, the House is set to vote on the CR, and congressional leaders in both parties are scheduled to meet with President Trump.

Yesterday, 34 Republican House members wrote to Speaker Ryan asking for a vote on legislation to protect DACA recipients before year's end. The letter notes that while they agree with President Trump that executive action was "not the appropriate process" for providing temporary status, a permanent legal solution to protect DACA participants would add hundreds of billions to our country's gross domestic product. The letter, led by Reps. Scott Taylor and Dan Newhouse, says "Reaching across the aisle to protect DACA recipients before the holidays in the right thing to do."

The Hill has more.


CFR members were today provided talking points on the House Education and Workforce Committee's PROSPER Act, released last week. The Committee could markup the bill as early as next Tuesday, December 12. CFR members are encouraged to contact their House delegations to relay the community's concerns.

Intelligence and other updates will continue to be relayed via the Higher Education Task Force listserv. If you are interested in joining the task force, please contact Taylor Henry (


The Supreme Court on Monday issued brief orders encouraging appeals courts to determine the legality of the administration's latest iteration of the travel ban, meaning the administration may now fully enforce the travel restrictions. Issued by proclamation in September, the policy restricts travel to the U.S. by citizens from eight countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. Two justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor indicated they would have denied the administration's request to implement the policy.

The New York Times and Politico have more.


Tomorrow, AAU's Lizbet Boroughs will participate in a AAAS Facebook Live discussion regarding DACA participants in STEM fields, and the resources available to students affected by the administration's decision to terminate DACA. The event begins at 1:30 pm EST and can be viewed here.


Both the monthly meeting schedule and the roster of steering committee members and task force leaders have been updated under "Resources for CFR" in the MyAAU portal. CFR members will need to login with their membership credentials to access each.

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