Federal Policy Update
To:         AASCU Presidents and Chancellors
From:    Ed Elmendorf, Sr. Vice President for Government Relations and Policy Analysis
              Robert Moran, Director of Federal Relations and Policy Analysis
              Makese Motley, Asst. Director of Federal Relations and Policy Analysis
RE:        Sequestration update
Date:     March 1st, 2013
*** Information Advisory ***
As the hour approaches toward sequestration, AASCU would like to provide you with some new information as well as an update. Last night the Senate rejected two measures that would provide relief in some fashion to sequestration. Thus, sequestration will occur and result in a funding reduction of $85 billion split between defense and non-defense funding.  While the amounts and percentages have still not been officially released, AASCU continues to rely on estimates that suggest non-defense discretionary accounts will be reduced by 5.1% and defense spending will see a roughly 8.5% reduction. President Obama has scheduled a meeting with congressional leaders for today in order to discuss steps forward. There is no indication of any other outcomes expected from this meeting.
The Congress still must finish the fiscal year 2013 funding bills, as the federal government is funded until March 27.  It is possible that Congress will reprioritize some of those funds and alleviate the sequester cuts; however, that will mean more funding cuts to other programs.
The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators has released an institution-by-institution report indicating the losses in both the Federal Work-Study and Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant programs from the sequester.  The report can be found here. It is important to again note that the Pell Grant is exempt from and will not be effected by the sequester.
This past week, with a looming deadline, the blame game between republicans and democrats, specifically the president, has occurred and politicized actions on both sides have heated.  The White House has engaged in an information campaign that includes state-by-state sequester impact sheets that can be found here.
Should you have any further questions about the sequester please do not hesitate to contact AASCU federal relations staff.

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