Washington, DC – Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) President Peter McPherson today released the following statement regarding the Fiscal Year 2018 Labor-HHS bill that the Senate Appropriations Committee approved today.
“APLU is grateful for the leadership of Chairman Cochran, Vice Chairman Leahy, Subcommittee Chairman Blunt, and Subcommittee Ranking Member Murray in crafting a Fiscal Year 2018 bill. Like the parallel bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee in July, the Senate bill includes critically important language protecting facilities and administrative (F&A) support for NIH research projects. We appreciate the Senate committee’s recognition that F&A costs are expenses incurred by universities and are essential to conducting research. The F&A language in the House and Senate bills are aimed at ensuring that cutting-edge biomedical research will continue undiminished. While the legislative process is certainly not over, today’s passage is a very positive development that gets us all one important step closer to protecting the funding that makes cutting-edge biomedical research possible.
“We are also very pleased that the committee increased the NIH appropriation by $2 billion – a vital continuation of recent efforts to reverse past cuts by boosting support for desperately needed biomedical research that saves lives and accelerates economic growth. This is the third consecutive year that Senators Blunt and Murray have proposed such an increase for the NIH in their bipartisan bill.
“What’s more, the bill provides the first discretionary increase in the maximum Pell Grant in over a decade. This would ensure low-income students have additional resources they need to access and complete college and become highly productive members of the nation’s workforce. We’re also appreciative of the modest funding increase to the TRIO Programs and the subcommittee’s level-funding of the Federal Work Study and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants. These programs are critical to expanding access to higher education, fostering upward mobility, and building a 21st century workforce with the skills necessary to help the United States advance its position as the world’s preeminent economy.”