As things move quickly in Washington, DC, NACUBO is your constant advocate in action. NACUBO On Your Side covers important legislative and agency activity NACUBO staff are tracking, what we’re currently advocating for, and how you can take action with us.
Here are the issues we are tracking and advocating for this week.
Biden Administration Proposes Delay to H-1B Changes
The Biden administration has proposed delaying until mid-May a Department of Labor rule that was set to take effect in mid-March. The rule change, which NACUBO has publicly opposed, would significantly increase the necessary wage levels for H-1B and other employment-based visas. The potential delay in effective date would not alter the rule’s currently scheduled July 1 implementation date, and to be fully invalidated it would need to be repealed through a court order or the administrative rulemaking process.
ED Extends HEERF Annual Reporting Deadline
The Department of Education has extended the annual reporting deadline for CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) by a week, to February 8. ED also has established a reporting help desk to assist institutions with any HEERF reporting questions. As a reminder, colleges and universities may not access their most recent federal COVID-19 relief allocations as provided by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act until they are up-to-date on all HEERF reporting requirements, including the annual report.
NACUBO Submits Comments on FTC Hart-Scott-Rodino Act NPRM
NACUBO has submitted comments in response to a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rulemaking on Hart-Scott-Rodino Act requirements. The FTC's proposed rules would result in significantly enhanced reporting requirements. The American Council on Education and Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges joined NACUBO's comment letter, which illustrated how the proposed rules would create significant operational and compliance challenges for the endowments of nonprofit higher education institutions across the country.
NACUBO Urges Support for OPT Program
NACUBO joined 38 other higher education associations in sending a letter to the Department of Homeland Security requesting that its U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) division further address the ongoing delays in receipting and adjudicating Optional Practical Training (OPT) work authorization applications. The letter expresses concern that “students and graduates will miss employment start dates and could fall out of status due to these delays” and requested that USCIS implement application flexibilities to minimize the impact of the delays international students face for as long as they persist.
NACUBO Calls for Greater International Student Supports
NACUBO, in a letter led by the American Council on Education, urged newly confirmed Secretary of State Antony Blinken to take action on issues that would help support current and future international students. The letter suggests that the agency work with the Department of Homeland Security to quickly process visa applications and work authorizations and also urges the secretary to restore the 2005 “Rice” cable, which allows flexibility for consular officers in interpreting an international student’s intent provision when adjudicating student visa applications.
NACUBO Calls on ED to Confirm Student Eligibility for Relief Funds
NACUBO and over 50 other higher education associations have urged the Department of Education to make clear that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, undocumented students, and international students are eligible to receive emergency grants made using Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act higher education funds. While ED had ruled under the previous administration that these individuals could not receive funds from CARES Act allocations, the current department has indicated that its previous rule on student eligibility is not applicable to these funds, without expressly making clear that these students are eligible.
Public Finance Network Welcomes New Officials
As a member of the Public Finance Network (PFN), NACUBO sent letters to the members of the 117th Congress and the recently confirmed secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, to offer congratulations and express interest in working toward shared goals. In its letter to Yellen, the PFN also outlined five of the group’s policy priorities, each of which would strengthen tax-exempt bonds as a financing tool.
Connect with NACUBO’s Policy Team
Join NACUBO’s policy experts Friday, February 12 at 1 pm ET for updates on the latest COVID-19 relief aid for higher education in Section 314 (a)(1) of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) and on the accompanying guidance provided by the Department of Education. Speakers will also discuss changes made to the Post 9/11 GI Bill by recently passed legislation. Register in advance here.
NACUBO On Your Side: January 20-25, 2021