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APLU Statement on Agreement to Reopen Government

Washington, DC – Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) President Peter McPherson today released the following statement about the agreement between the White House and Congress to approve a three-week continuing resolution that would reopen federal agencies and allow time for negotiations over immigration and border security issues.

“We are pleased that the White House and Congress reached an agreement to reopen federal agencies and urge all parties to ensure we won’t be right back in this same situation in three weeks. We are very happy federal workers will finally receive paychecks and that funding and reviews of critical research projects will resume, but the uncertainty that remains looms large.

“Although three weeks of funding is better than no funding at all, the U.S. research enterprise does not operate anywhere close to full strength when agencies are only guaranteed to be open three weeks at a time. We urge Congress and the White House to avoid a longer continuing resolution and instead strike a deal for the rest of Fiscal Year 2019 that provides increases to NSF, NASA, and other critical agencies. Passing a continuing resolution would hold funding flat from Fiscal Year 2018 and disregard increases that the House and Senate passed in their individual version of the appropriations bills.

“If Congress and the White House use this period to negotiate a broader immigration and border security package, it is imperative that any such agreement provides a long-term solution to address the uncertainty around the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Court orders are the only thing keeping DACA intact right now. The roughly 800,000 young people enrolled in DACA face great uncertainty as to how long they may continue to be eligible for deferred status protection and work authorization. Congress can finally lift the cloud of uncertainty hanging over these young people.”

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