The following is a statement by Association of American Universities President Barbara R. Snyder regarding the passage of the FY21 appropriations omnibus package:
We are pleased that Congress and the administration have finally come together to reach a bipartisan agreement which avoids a harmful shutdown, provides important research investments, and delivers additional pandemic-related assistance directly to the American people. Even modest boosts to federal support for NASA, the National institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Pell grant maximum award are vital to the government-university partnership that strengthens our nation’s health, economy, and security.
We urge the president to sign the legislation without delay.
From day one, America’s leading research universities have been on the front lines of fighting the pandemic and developing treatments. The vaccines now offering hope to millions of people are the direct result of work at our universities. Now, more than ever, these institutions need support as they continue to lead our nation’s response to the pandemic. While we applaud this measure’s increased funding for certain higher education and research programs and agencies, the pandemic relief provisions included in the omnibus fall far short of what is needed to mitigate the pandemic’s harmful impacts on federally sponsored research, the research workforce, and college students.
Going forward, lawmakers must not allow political brinkmanship to further harm U.S. innovation and prosperity and our efforts to beat COVID-19. Congress must work in a timely and bipartisan manner with the next administration to pass additional pandemic relief and a federal budget for the next fiscal year that meets the health, economic, and security challenges facing our nation.
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Founded in 1900, the Association of American Universities is composed of America’s leading research universities. AAU’s 65 research universities transform lives through education, research, and innovation.
Our member universities earn the majority of competitively awarded federal funding for research that improves public health, seeks to address national challenges, and contributes significantly to our economic strength, while educating and training tomorrow’s visionary leaders and innovators.
AAU member universities collectively help shape policy for higher education, science, and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education; and strengthen the contributions of leading research universities to American society.