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AAU Supports Omnibus Appropriations and Tax Bills


Following is a statement by Hunter Rawlings, President of the Association of American Universities, on the omnibus appropriations and tax bills Congress will consider this week.

Both the appropriations and tax bills Congress will consider this week are good news for higher education and for research universities in particular.

The bill includes significant investments in scientific research at all the major research agencies, with the highlight being a $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health that helps make up for years of neglect. The bill shores up student aid programs and includes a $140 increase to the maximum Pell Grant award.

We note that these funding decisions were made in the context of discretionary spending caps that remain too tight. As long as they do, our nation will not be able to make the full investments in research and higher education that are needed to stave off an innovation deficit.

The tax bill also contains a number of provisions that will help research universities and other higher education institutions carry out their missions. Most importantly, the bill makes permanent the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which is helping millions of undergraduates pay for college. The bill also makes the IRA charitable rollover permanent, a measure that encourages contributions to nonprofits, including universities. Finally, making permanent the R&D tax credit helps support private sector innovations that emerge from university research.

We are especially pleased that these bills are the result of bipartisan negotiations – the kind of negotiations that we hope will eventually lead to a larger effort to address long-term fiscal challenges that continue to constrict our nation’s ability to invest in its future.


The Association of American Universities (AAU) is an association of 60 U.S. and two Canadian public and private research universities. It focuses on issues such as funding for research, research policy issues, and graduate and undergraduate education. AAU member universities are on the leading edge of innovation, scholarship, and solutions that contribute to the nation's economy, security, and wellbeing. AAU’s 60 U.S. universities award nearly one-half of all U.S. doctoral degrees and 55 percent of those in STEM fields.