Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Update
The House and Senate continue their consideration of appropriations bills this week. A chart reflecting the most recent House and Senate funding levels can be found here.
The House Appropriations Committee plans to mark up the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Labor-HHS-Education bill as early as tomorrow, Thursday, July 27. As advanced out of subcommittee, the House bill would completely zero out funding for:
The bill would also cut Title VI international education programs by 59 percent and make substantial cuts to the Institute of Education Sciences. The bill would keep flat the maximum Pell Grant at FY23 levels and maintain the Pell Grant reserve.
On the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the House bill would cut $2.8 billion, in addition to a cut of $1 billion below FY23 levels to the new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H). While many NIH institutes would be current level-funded, the bill calls for specific cuts to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Office of the Director, and a few other select institutes. Additional details will be available when the subcommittee releases a committee report.
The House Majority Leader also set floor consideration of the Agriculture and Military Construction-VA appropriations bills this week, with the Rules Committee meeting Wednesday to consider a rule for the Agriculture bill. Last week, members of the House Freedom Caucus and Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reportedly agreed to further overall FY 24 spending cuts. The parameters of that agreement are not known, and its impact on floor consideration of these two bills is not yet clear.
CQ previously reported the Appropriations Committee would consider the Commerce-Justice-Science and Labor-H bills this Thursday, but the committee has not issued any markups for the week. These remain the last bills to be marked up by the committee.
The full Senate Appropriations Committee plans to consider its own bipartisan Labor-HHS-ED funding bill on Thursday, bypassing subcommittee consideration. The Senate bill has not yet been released.
Last week, the Appropriations Committee advanced the Energy-Water, State-Foreign Operations-Related Programs, and Transportation—Housing-Urban Development bills out of committee, all three in a bipartisan vote.
The Energy-Water report includes $8.43 billion for the Department of Energy Office of Science, a 4 percent increase over FY23 and $450 million for ARPA-E, a 4 percent cut over FY23. The SFOPs report includes $75 million for Feed the Future Innovation Labs, a 21 percent increase over FY23 levels and $17 million for the Gilman scholarship program, equal to FY23 levels. The report shows $2 million for the IDEAS program, a 25 percent cut from FY23, and the report continues to encourage the Secretary of State to implement the findings of the Lincoln Commission. Higher education accounts within USAID receive $231.5 million, a 19 percent cut from FY23. The bill report did not include funding levels for EducationUSA advising centers.
The Committee is scheduled to markup the remaining four bills on Thursday. Text and report language for the Defense, Interior-Environment, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Homeland Security bills are expected shortly thereafter. Under an agreement reached by Appropriations Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-ME), $12 billion in emergency spending will be added to these bills: $8 billion to Defense and $2 billion to both Labor-H and Homeland Security.
APLU, Student Aid Alliance Send Letter to House Appropriations Leadership
The Student Aid Alliance, which APLU helps steer, sent a letter to House Appropriations Chair Kay Granger (R-TX) and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) expressing deep concerns with cuts proposed in the FY 2024 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies funding bill. The letter opposes the elimination of funding for the Federal Work-Study program and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program. The letter reiterates previously communicated requested funding levels and calls on Congress to continue its bipartisan support of federal student aid programs.
Fiscal Year 2024 NDAA Update
The Senate has begun consideration of its version of the FY 24 National Defense Authorization Act.
Over 800 amendments have been submitted. Senate leadership has prepared a manager’s amendment that includes 51 bipartisan amendments. It is possible there will be a second manager’s amendment including other agreed-upon amendments.
APLU staff are monitoring several amendments list of amendments focused on research security and discouraging collaborations with Chinese entities. It is not clear yet if any of these amendments will pass. APLU is advocating to ensure that any new restrictions are not overly burdensome and do not duplicate existing reporting requirements. The Department of Defense just last month released its new Policy on Risk Based Security Reviews of Fundamental Research and a list of foreign entities confirmed as engaging in problematic activity as required in Section 1286 of the FY19 NDAA.
APLU staff are monitoring several amendments focused on research security and discouraging collaborations with Chinese entities. It is not clear yet if any of these amendments will pass. APLU is advocating to ensure that any new restrictions are not overly burdensome and do not duplicate existing reporting requirements. The Department of Defense just last month released its new Policy on Risk Based Security Reviews of Fundamental Research and a list of foreign entities confirmed as engaging in problematic activity as required in Section 1286 of the FY19 NDAA.
STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) List Updated, Adding Eight Fields of Study
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a notice in the Federal Register adding eight new fields of study to the STEM Designated Degree Program List. Students enrolled in programs on the list qualify for a 24-month extension of the OPT program. The expanded list is effective July 12, 2023. The list was previously updated in January 2022.
Fields of study added to the list include landscape architecture; institutional research; mechatronics, robotics, and automation engineering technology/technician; composite materials technology/technician; linguistics and computer science; developmental and adolescent psychology; geospatial intelligence; and demography and population studies. No fields were removed from the list.