What Did I Miss in Washington? October 16-30, 2017
The steady stream of news emerging from the nation's capital can be overwhelming. NACUBO highlights key actions and provides the status of top higher education business officer concerns.
NACUBO Staff Member Chosen for ED Rulemaking Negotiation. Sue Menditto, NACUBO's director of accounting policy, has been selected to represent the association at an upcoming Department of Education negotiated rulemaking on borrower defense rules. Menditto will serve specifically on a subcommittee charged with updating the financial responsibility requirements of colleges and universities. The list of negotiators and meeting schedule can be found on ED's website.
Colleges and Universities Push for Action on DACA. On October 19, more than 750 college and university presidents sent a letter to congressional leaders urging them to take action on legislation that would protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) students.
NACUBO Sends Letters of Support on Section 127 Legislation. Members of both the Senate and House of Representatives introduced legislation that would greatly strengthen Section 127 of the tax code. Section 127 allows employers to offer employees up to $5,250 annually in non-taxable tuition assistance. The proposed legislation would raise that amount, which has not been increased in almost 40 years, to $11,500 and would create an automatic adjustment for inflation after enactment. NACUBO sent letters of thanks to the two senators and five representatives who sponsored these bills for championing of this much-needed legislation.
On Capitol Hill
House Hearing Focuses on F&A Costs. The House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee held a hearing on October 24 to discuss the role of facilities and administrative (F&A) reimbursements in supporting research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Labor-HHS Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) has expressed support for maintaining the existing NIH F&A reimbursement calculations and both the House and the Senate included protections for F&A reimbursements in draft appropriations bills.
Congress Passes FY18 Budget Resolution, Eyes Tax Reform. The House of Representatives approved the Senate's budget resolution by a thin margin of 216-212 on October 26. Following the bill's passage, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, stated that Republicans will release their plans for tax reform on November 1, as the budget resolution creates the legislative vehicle needed to advance a tax package that will not be subject to filibuster in the Senate. NACUBO members should be prepared to respond.
Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Free Speech on Campuses. On October 26, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee held a hearing exploring free speech on college and university campuses. Witnesses included the president of the University of Chicago, professors from Middlebury College and New York Law School, and the president of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
What Did I Miss in Washington? September 18-October 16, 2017