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News & Media

Washington Update

April 20, 2021
 

APLU Analysis of the Administration’s FY2022 Budget Blueprint 

On April 9, the Biden administration released its FY2022 budget blueprint. The $1.52 trillion ‘skinny’ discretionary budget contains $769 billion for nondefense (16 percent above FY2021) and $753 billion for defense (1.7 percent above FY2021) spending. A few highlights include increased funding for the Pell Grant program and federal science agencies. The budget request has an emphasis on health and climate science related research, including the creation of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health and the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Climate.  
 
APLU released a statement applauding the administration’s substantial increases for research while urging the president to double the maximum Pell Grant. 
 
APLU also developed a detailed analysis of the budget blueprint, including funding and policy priorities relevant to APLU institutions. The association will routinely update the analysis document and the FY2022 appropriations priorities chart as additional details emerge in the coming months. It is rumored the administration will release the comprehensive FY2022 budget request in late spring with additions of mandatory spending proposals. 

NIH Announces New Fetal Tissue Research Policy 

On April 16, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced it will no longer convene the NIH Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board and is reversing a 2019 Health and Human Services (HHS) policy which mandated that an Ethics Advisory Board must review all research applications for NIH grants and contracts proposing the use of human fetal tissue from elective abortions. 

U.S. Department of Education Releases Guidance on MOE Requirements 

The U.S. Department of Education released a guidance document on the CARES Act (March 2020), Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (December 2020) and the American Rescue Plan Act (March 2021) Maintenance of Effort (MOE) requirements, including requests for waivers. The MOE provisions in the COVID relief bills require states to maintain support for higher education as a condition of receiving the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund or Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund. The guidance document addresses the three fiscal years a state must average in calculating the floor, how states can quantify support for higher education, the process for requesting a waiver, and more. 

APLU coordinated a letter earlier in the month urging the Department of Education to make clear to states that it intends to strongly enforce the MOE requirements. 

APLU & Higher Ed Community Endorses James Kvaal for Under Secretary of Education 

Ahead of last week’s Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee confirmation hearing, APLU joined higher education partners on a letter to HELP leadership expressing support for the nomination of James Kvaal to serve as Under Secretary of Education at the Department of Education. If confirmed, Kvaal will oversee policies and programs related to postsecondary education, federal student aid, and vocational and adult education. 

  • Council on Governmental Affairs

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