NAICU Washington Update

Senate Democrats Release Spending Priorities

July 29, 2022

After holding out as long as possible for a bipartisan agreement on top line spending totals, Democratic appropriations leaders in the Senate released their subcommittee spending plans for FY 2023.   

Student aid funding and higher education programs remain high priorities in the Labor-HHS-Education subcommittee draft, anchored by a $500 increase in the Pell Grant maximum, to $7,395, which matches the House recommendation.  This would mark the largest increase to the Pell Grant maximum since 2009.

Generally, the plans propose a 10% increase in domestic programs and a 9% increase in defense programs. 

For the student aid programs, the draft includes the following increases: 
  • Supplemental Educational Opportunities Grants (SEOG) increased by $20 million, to $915 million; 
  • Federal-Work Study increased by $25 million, to $1.23 billion;
  • TRIO increased by $138 million, to $1.275 billion; and 
  • GEAR UP increased by $22 million, to $400 million. 
Other important higher education programs also received funding increases, including: 
  • Strengthening Institutions Programs increased across all Title III and Title V programs by $219 million, to $1.1 billion;
  • Teacher Quality Partnerships increased by $15.9 million, to $75 million; and
  • Child Care Access Means Parents in School increased by $30 million, to $95 million.
The explanatory statement issued in lieu of official report language included $15 million for Basic Needs grant funding, $75 million for Postsecondary Student Success state grants, and $25 million for a Rural Postsecondary and Economic Development initiative. 

Next Steps

The House has not voted on its version of the education spending bill, which pushes further action into September. Since the Senate was unable to agree to bipartisan spending totals, it indicates Congress will not complete FY 2023 negotiations until after the elections. 

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