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APLU & AAU Urge Administration & Congress to Lift Budget Caps for Fiscal Years 2020 & 2021 to Better Support Student Aid & Research Programs

February 25, 2019

Washington, DC – Association of Public and Land-grant Universities President Peter McPherson and Association of American Universities President Mary Sue Coleman sent the Office of Management and Budget and congressional leaders a letter urging them to negotiate a new bipartisan budget agreement that raises discretionary spending caps for fiscal years (FY) 2020 and 2021.

February 22, 2019

The Honorable Mick Mulvaney
Director
Office of Management and Budget
Washington, DC 20503

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Senate Majority Leader
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Charles Schumer
Senate Minority Leader
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
House Minority Leader
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Director Mulvaney, Speaker Pelosi, and Leaders McCarthy, McConnell, and Schumer:

On behalf of our members, which include nearly all the nation’s major research universities, we urge you to take immediate action to negotiate a new bipartisan budget agreement that raises discretionary spending caps for fiscal years (FY) 2020 and 2021. Raising the caps will provide relief from harmful cuts to critical federal investments in scientific research, student aid, and other higher education programs that contribute to our nation’s economic and national security.

University leaders have repeatedly urged Congress and the administration to prevent budget sequestration, reduce long-term budget deficits, and stabilize the long-term national debt using a sensible approach that creates economic and job growth while staving off an innovation deficit. The research university community is grateful for your past actions to not only lift the Budget Control Act’s (BCA) harmful discretionary caps scheduled for FY2018 and FY2019, but to also provide additional resources to meet the country’s significant investment needs. We now urge you to address the deeper discretionary spending cuts slated for FY2020 and FY2021. Such cuts would have damaging impacts to not only scientific research, higher education, and other important programs, but to our nation’s ability to sustain its position as the global innovation leader, which is vital to our economic and national security interests.

Now is the time to act. Among other benefits, enacting a bipartisan budget agreement this spring would avoid protracted budget battles and provide funding to help revitalize the government-university partnership through increased investments in important areas such as: the Department of Defense’s 6.1 basic research and other science & technology programs; the National Institutes of Health; the National Science Foundation; the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy; NASA; the USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative; the National Endowment for the Humanities; and the Department of Education’s Pell Grants, other federal student aid programs, graduate and Title VI international education programs, and the Institute for Education Sciences.

Thank you for considering our views.

Sincerely,

Peter McPherson
President
Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

Mary Sue Coleman
President
Association of American Universities

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