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, Assistant Director of Federal Relations and Policy Analysis
Re:        FY 12 Appropriations
Date:    September 30, 2011

*** Information Advisory ***

Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations

Yesterday, Representative Denny Rehberg (R-MT), the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations, released a draft version of his bill. Unlike the Senate version that found savings elsewhere and applied them to the Pell Grant Program, the House subcommittee proposal calls for several programmatic changes. The House proposal would make the following changes:

  • Eliminates eligibility for less than half-time students.
  • Eliminates eligibility for awards that are less than $555
  • Reduces Pell use from 18 semesters to 12 starting July 1, 2012
  • Reduces zero Estimated Family Contribution from $30,000 to $15,000
  • Expands the definition of Untaxed Income to include 5 items that are currently NOT included as income. They are:
    •             The amount of additional tax credit claimed for tax purposes
    •             Welfare benefits
    •             Earned income credit claimed for tax purposes
    •             Credit from tax paid on special fuels
    •             Untaxed social security benefits.
In addition, the draft proposal significantly reduces or eliminates the following institutional support accounts: Strengthening HBCUs (-$85 million), Hispanic Serving Institutions (-$87 million), Strengthening Predomincantly Black Institutions (eliminated), Asian American Pacific Islander (eliminated), Strengthening Alaska Native and Native Hawaiin Serving Institutions (eliminated), Strengthening Native American Serving Nontribal Institutions (eliminated), and Strengthening Tribal Institutions (eliminated).

The measure also prevents the Administration from implementing and enforcing the Gainful Employment rule and the definitions of Credit Hour and State Authorization.

It is important to note that this measure is a draft proposal that more than likely will not be debated by the Subcommittee, but is being used as a marker as the House enters negotiations with the Senate on an omnibus appropriations measure.  AASCU will continue to keep you updated and remain engaged in the discourse.

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