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.
On the Hill
Congress Shifts Focus to Budget Crisis
Attempts to advance a reconciliation infrastructure package containing many provisions of interest to the higher education community have been temporarily sidelined as Congress shifts to time-sensitive work. Congress is set to miss its October 1 deadline to complete work on the next fiscal year’s budget and now must pass a continuing resolution to prevent a government shutdown until a final budget is signed into law. Congress also must vote by mid-October on raising the government’s debt ceiling to prevent it from defaulting on various financial obligations.
NACUBO, Associations Again Call for Fixes to Student Veteran Bill
NACUBO, along with 16 other higher education associations, sent a letter to the leadership of the House and Senate Committees on Veterans’ Affairs, recommending changes to the Isakson and Roe Act now that many of the law’s provisions have taken effect. While the community supports the goals of the legislation, recommended improvements include aligning consumer information requirements with those already in place at the Department of Education and making dual certification of enrollment optional for institutions. The letter also addresses concerns with the law’s incentive compensation provision and a requirement that schools must participate in ED’s Title IV programs to participate in the GI Bill program.
NACUBO Joins Push for Tax-Free Pell
NACUBO joined other higher education associations, in letters to House leaders and Senate Finance Committee leadership, urging them to retain the portion of the current reconciliation infrastructure package that repeals the taxability of Pell Grants. This provision, which NACUBO has long supported, is currently in the House’s version of the bill, but senators could change the legislation change significantly. The letter also urges the committee to preserve a fix for a legislative glitch that prevents many Pell Grant recipients from receiving the full benefits of the American Opportunity Tax Credit.
Higher Ed Groups Call for Afghan Student, Scholar Supports
The higher education association community, in a letter led by the American Council on Education, called on Congressional leaders to support legislation to assist students and scholars who have been displaced by the current crisis in Afghanistan. While urging more immediate relief for all facing potential danger under the Taliban, the letter highlights a half-dozen longer-term support measures that would aid Afghan students and academics, including additional USAID funds to support those currently displaced from Afghanistan and waiting to travel to the U.S., waiving current U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) rules around off-campus work for Afghan student visa holders in F and J status, and providing additional funding to USCIS to process the influx of Afghan visas and green card applications.
Continue the Push to #DoublePell
A legislative package with the potential for historic investment in social programs continues to progress in Congress. While the maximum Pell Grant would see a $500 increase under the current draft, the increase falls short of President Biden’s request for an increase of $1,470. Join the conversation and tell Congress to #DoublePell by clicking here or texting “College Pell” to 52886.
NACUBO On Your Side: September 14-20, 2021