Hints of President’s Budget Revealed this Week
This week, the White House revealed some significant insights into President Trump’s yet-to-be-released FY2018 budget. These include large proposed increases for the Department of Defense and commensurate cuts to the non-defense discretionary budget. Preliminary reports of the Trump budget proposal indicate the Defense budget would grow by $54 billion to $603 billion, while the remainder of the discretionary budget would decrease by $54 billion to $462 billion. While no details are available at this time, House Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) indicated that his bill, which funds student financial aid, the National Institutes of Health and many other programs, would be hit hard under the proposal. A formal budget outline is expected the week of March 13th and the complete President’s Budget Request likely won’t be released until April or May.
HBCU Presidents Convene in Washington
Earlier this week, more than 80 presidents of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), including the 1890 Black land-grant universities, convened Washington, DC for a two-day summit. The White House hosted a gathering with the university leaders on Monday. On Tuesday, a HBCU conference organized by Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and Congressman Mark Walker (R-NC) was held on Capitol Hill. Other members of Congress who met with the HBCU presidents included House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). Speaker Ryan also expressed support for year-round Pell at the meeting, saying “I like year-round Pell. That makes a lot of sense.” U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos delivered the keynote address at the conference. The meeting coincided with an executive order related to HBCUs that President Trump issued yesterday.
APLU President Peter McPherson’s statement regarding the conference is available here.
APLU Sends Letter Urging Congress to Complete FY2017 Appropriations
APLU President Peter McPherson sent a letter to congressional leadership last month urging the completion of the FY2017 appropriations process with legislation that prioritizes funding for higher education and research. The letter expresses concern that a year-long CR would forgo the opportunity to adopt congressionally proposed changes and updates, including necessary increases for research, student aid, and other important programs.
Letter to OMB Director Mick Mulvaney
Also last month, the Task Force on American Innovation (TFAI) which includes APLU, sent a letter to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney. The letter urges Director Mulvaney to make federal investments in basic scientific research a top priority in FY2018 at the agencies of focus for TFAI, including the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy Office of Science, the Department of Defense, NASA, and the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology.