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FY19 Appropriations Process Concludes

Today marks the end of the Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations process in DC, which began over a year ago when President Trump released his budget request to Congress for federal agencies and programs. This morning, the president signed legislation that included final spending levels for several federal agencies of interest including the National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Overall, research agencies fared relatively well and student financial aid programs were level-funded. A breakdown of FY19 research and student aid funding is provided below.

Background on FY19 – During the early stages of the process, Congress engaged federal agency leaders and constituency groups in order to assess the president’s budget request. During the months that followed, the House and Senate appropriations committees gave bipartisan support for increasing research and student aid programs over what the administration requested. In September, Congress approved and the president signed legislation that provided FY19 funding for several agencies. The initial set of agencies funded included some of interest to the higher education community, such as the Department of Education, National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense and the Department of Energy. At that point, the White House indicated that it would not approve additional full-year spending bills for other agencies unless funding was provided for a southern border wall. Federal agencies not funded by that point were put on temporary spending authority to allow the midterm elections to play out as well as to provide Congress and the White House more time to resolve the border wall disagreement. As widely reported, the stalemate over FY19 appropriations has finally concluded with the president allowing the remaining set of federal agencies to be funded and deciding to pursue a southern border wall through other means.

Please contact the Office of Federal Relations if you have a question about the FY19 funding of a particular agency, program or area of need.

 

Final FY19 Research and Student Aid Appropriations

Department of Defense R&D Budget Breakdown

Jonathan Nurse

Partial Government Shutdown Possible Later this Week

As February 15th approaches, individuals on and off of Capitol Hill remain uncertain as to whether there will be another partial federal government shutdown. President Trump recently stated that the odds of another partial shutdown are less than 50-50. Instead, he has focused on the possibility of declaring a national emergency to obtain funding for a southern border wall, further pressuring the already fragile negotiation on the Hill. In general, both sides want to avoid another partial shutdown if at all possible.

After the State of the Union address on Tuesday, Democrats and Republicans on the Hill continued work towards a compromise bill to fund impacted agencies for the remainder of FY 2019. However, late Friday, several press stories indicated that negotiators were at an impasse over funding of ICE detention facilities and some form of physical barrier at select spots along the southern border. 

Another partial government shutdown would have drastic effects on the higher education community. From the first shutdown alone, there was more than $1.3B in funding for scientific research put on hold. Simultaneously, universities across the country advanced millions of their own dollars to keep labs and research facilities open. The effects of this funding turmoil will likely last for months. 

Chairman Alexander's Priorities for a 2019 Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act

Chairman Alexander's Priorities for a 2019 Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act

On Monday February 4th, Chairman Alexander laid out his priorities for the 2019 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA).

Chairman Alexander discussed FAFSA simplification and student loan program changes as targets for HEA reauthorization. He stated a desire to cut down the number of questions in the FAFSA from 108 to 15-20, deeming most of the questions as unnecessary. Additionally, Chairman Alexander wants to simplify the verification process so funds are not unnecessarily withheld from students when needed.

Aside from simplification of the FAFSA, Chairman Alexander wants to change the student loan program options from nine current options to two. The first option would allow students to partake in a payment plan that automatically deducts 10% of their discretionary income from their paycheck. A key component to this plan allows borrowers to stop payments if they become unemployed. This halt in payments would not affect their credit score. The proposed second option for a student’s repayment of loans would be a 10-year payment plan, similar to a mortgage. For more information regarding Chairman Alexander's priorities for the Higher Education Act, please use the link below.

An agenda for higher education reform: Remarks by Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander

White House Science Adviser Confirmed

In the final hours of the 115th Congress, the United State Senate confirmed the nomination of University of Oklahoma Vice President for Research, Kelvin Droegemeier to head the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Jonathan Nurse

Dept. of Energy Year in Review

The Department of Energy has released a review of notable 2018 accomplishments.

Jonathan Nurse

NSF Releases Shutdown Guidance

The National Science Foundation has released guidance for proposers and grantees regarding its operational status during the partial government shutdown.

Jonathan Nurse

Partial Federal Government Shutdown Looms

Federal agencies that have yet to receive full year appropriations for 2019 will cease non-essential operations at midnight unless the White House and Congress forge a last minute agreement, which appears highly unlikely at this point.

Jonathan Nurse

FSU Joins Stakeholders in Support of DOD Basic Research and S&T Programs

Last week, FSU and other members of the Coalition for National Security Research crafted a letter to Department of Defense Secretary James Mattis and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney urging them to increase funding in their FY2020 budget for basic research and science and technology programs.

Karim Goforth

Deal Emerging to Avoid Partial Government Shutdown

Leaders on the Hill and the administration have signaled that a deal is on the horizon to keep federal agencies that are currently operating on stopgap appropriations to remain open beyond December 7 when funding is set to lapse.

Jonathan Nurse

New Poll Captures Voters Thoughts on Scientific Research

A recent poll conducted by The Science Coalition finds voters across the political spectrum agree that the U.S. should be the global leader for scientific research and technology and that taxpayer funds should support those efforts.

Karim Goforth

Dept. of Education Proposes Title IX Changes

In recent events, Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, have suggested proposed changes to Title IX dealing with how Colleges and Universities investigate sexual misconduct.

Karim Goforth

Congress Returns for Lame Duck Session

Congress returned Tuesday, November 13th, for the lame duck session with leadership elections planned for both chambers of the House in the next upcoming weeks.

Karim Goforth

Government to Remain Open through Dec. 7

Appropriators on Capitol Hill have announced an agreement that funds several key departments (Defense, Education, Labor, Health and Human Services) for the full fiscal year and others through December 7.

Jonathan Nurse

Lobbying Disclosure Requirements

Advocacy for federal investments in research and student financial assistance programs is an important activity that is regularly undertaken by administrators, faculty and students.

Jonathan Nurse