NAICU Washington Update

Appropriations Update

May 17, 2011

The House Appropriations Committee released drafts of its 302(b) allocations on May 10, setting the FY 2012 spending amounts for the 12 funding subcommittees in Congress. The Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee, which funds all education programs including student aid, was allotted $139 billion - $18 billion less than last year. Total spending from the House Budget Resolution is $1.09 trillion.

While Labor-HHS-Education is the largest domestic subcommittee by far, the reduced allocation puts huge pressure on finding a way to maintain a $5,550 maximum Pell Grant without losing the other student aid programs or cutting NIH research funding.  Already, LEAP was eliminated, and SEOG was cut $20 million in the FY 2011 Continuing Resolution.

The subcommittee is tentatively scheduled to write its FY 2012 appropriations bill on July 26, with August 2 slated for full committee consideration.  With the markup occurring that late, there won't be time for floor consideration before the House takes its summer break (August 8 through September 6).

Traditionally, appropriations bills are written in the House, then, sent to the Senate. Under this protocol, the late schedule for the House Labor-HHS-Education subcommittee means the Senate subcommittee won't write its version until September.

As the appropriations subcommittees prepare to write their bills, NAICU will remain in contact with staff to stress the importance of the student aid programs, and will especially focus on SEOG, given the possibility of Congress eliminating this important supplemental grant program for the neediest Pell students.  NAICU continues to urge its members to focus particular attention on preserving SEOG.

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