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Washington Update

CHIPS and Science Act Signed Into Law
President Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 (H.R. 4346) on August 9 during a signing ceremony at the White House Rose Garden. APLU President Peter McPherson and Associate Vice President for Research Policy and Governmental Affairs Debbie Altenburg attended the event.

The bill passed the House on July 28 on a broad bipartisan vote of 243-187-1. The Senate passed the bill the day before, Wednesday, July 27, with a 64-33 bipartisan vote. You can find the final version of the bill here. In addition, APLU and AAU have updated our comparison chart of the NSF section of the bill.

President McPherson released a statement following the House vote praising the bill and published an op-ed following the signing of the bill into law making the important point that enactment of the legislation must just be the beginning.

Inflation Reduction Act Signed Into Law
Last week, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law. The law contains a few APLU research priorities including research funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Transportation (DOT), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and scholarship programs at the Department of Agriculture (USDA) for minority-serving institutions. APLU’s analysis of the bill can be found here. The final bill text can be found here.

85/15 Legislation Heads to White House
On August 12, the House passed S. 4458, Ensuring the Best Schools for Veterans Act of 2022, by unanimous consent. The legislation, which passed the Senate in early August, will fully exempt institutions that enroll fewer than 35 percent student veterans from submitting 85/15 calculations for each of their programs to the Department of Veterans Affairs. APLU was deeply engaged to encourage the advancement of the legislation in Congress. The bill now heads to the White House for President Biden’s signature.

Education Department Unveils “Fresh Start” Plan for Borrowers in Default
The Education Department detailed its plans to implement the “Fresh Start” initiative to move student loan borrowers out of default. The plan, initially announced in April, will affect 7.5 million borrowers who defaulted before March 13, 2020 and will restore several benefits available to borrowers in good standing. Under the initiative, borrowers will receive access to income-driven repayment plans, regain access to federal student aid programs, be exempt from collections activity for one year, and have eligibility for loan rehabilitation restored. Borrowers eligible to participate in Fresh Start include defaulted borrowers with Direct Loans, FFEL loans, or ED-held Perkins loans. Borrowers participating in the initiative will have one year from the end of the student loan payment pause to make payment arrangements with their loan servicer or will again be subject to default.

The Department published a factsheet, an updated website, and a Dear Colleague Letter to accompany the announcement.

Nasser Paydar Confirmed as Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education
On August 5, the Senate confirmed Dr. Nasser Paydar to the post of Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education, and he was officially sworn in on Tuesday, August 23. As you may know, Dr. Paydar has been a longtime APLU member, serving as chancellor of Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and executive vice president of Indiana University (IU). Dr. Paydar’s nomination passed the Senate on a voice vote. Secretary Cardona released a statement praising his confirmation. APLU previously released a letter in support of his nomination.

  • Council on Governmental Affairs

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