Washington, DC – Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) President Peter McPherson today released the following statement regarding the Senate Fiscal Year 2019 Labor-HHS-Education bill that the Senate Appropriations Committee approved.
“We applaud the Senate Appropriations Committee for working in a bipartisan fashion to produce a funding bill that boosts investment in pathbreaking medical research and support for low-income students pursuing higher education.
“By putting forward a $2 billion increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health, the bill builds upon recent progress to further advance lifesaving treatments for patients desperately in need of medical innovation. Universities join patients and their families in appreciation of the continued strong trajectory of funding for the NIH and applaud the leadership of the Senate Subcommittee and Committee in proposing these robust levels of support for the world’s premier biomedical research agency.
“On student aid, the $100-increase in the maximum Pell Grant award helps ensure the program is at a minimum keeping pace with inflation. While we firmly believe campus-based aid programs should receive increases that aren’t included in this bill, APLU will continue to advocate for these important programs – which support access, affordability, and student success. We also urge Congress to not draw funds from the Pell reserve which is needed to protect the long-term fiscal health of the program.
“We are thankful to Chairman Blunt and Ranking Member Murray for their leadership in working across the aisle to craft a funding bill as well as their commitment to investing in our nation’s long-term prosperity.”