NAICU Washington Update

Introduction by Barbara K. Mistick

June 10, 2022

Dear Colleagues:

The summer months for Congress are similar to students cramming for finals. Congress is trying to get as much legislation written and passed as possible in a short period of time. Two important dates on the calendar to get bills passed are the July 4th recess and the August summer break.

With that in mind, we are also expecting to have a correlating ramp-up in activity. Just some of the key issues we know will be at the forefront are:

  • The Pell Grant’s 50th Anniversary
  • Advocacy work to fix the veteran programs’ 35% waiver and 85/15 problems
  • Title IX
  • Next steps on regulations emerging from negotiated rulemaking

We will keep you up-to-date on actions related to these and other issues affecting higher education with Action Alerts, updates here in future Washington Updates, and other communications. There are likely to be instances as well where we may need to reach out to segments of our membership with more direct or specific asks. I know the summer can be a time to regroup and reenergize for the coming year – and that’s important – but I hope you will also stay attuned to the action in Washington and lend your voice and time to our advocacy efforts when you can.

One such issue we are already aware of is the massive, 12-committee conference on the House America COMPETES/Senate U. S. Innovation and Competitiveness Act, which is continuing its long journey.

On the table is a provision that would require institutions to maintain a database on foreign gifts to and foreign contracts with faculty and staff. The House and Senate have different versions of this new Section 124 of the Higher Education Act. NAICU prefers the House version, which puts a $50,000 threshold on the gift or contract, and a $50 million threshold in federal R&D funding for the institutional reporting. The Senate version has a $5 million threshold in institutional R&D funding and no threshold on the gift or contact so even a cup of coffee purchased by a foreign source would need to be tracked.

If your institution has more than $5 million in R&D expenditures, you could be affected by the Senate proposal. If this is the case, now is a good time to weigh-in with your congressional delegation about the provision. If you have any questions about the bills or this particular provision, please contact Stephanie Giesecke, NAICU’s senior director of budget and appropriations, at

  • The Education Department announced that Jordan Matsudaira will become the agency’s first-ever chief economist. Matsudaira will continue to serve in his current role as Under Secretary at the Department. As chief economist, Matsudaira will work with the Office of the Chief Data Officer, the Institute for Education Sciences, Budget Service, and Federal Student Aid. Matsudaira will be focused on higher education. Prior to joining the Education Department, he was an economist at Teachers Colleges at Columbia University and served as Chief Economist of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors. While in the Obama Administration, Matsudaira led the team that developed the data for the College Scorecard.
Double Pell 

“… I’m glad this budget supports efforts I’ve pushed for to simplify the federal student aid application process and expand eligibility for those with the greatest need, increases funding for TRIO, and Retention and Completion Grants, and increases Pell Grant awards to put the program on a path to doubling the maximum award—a fitting tribute for the 50th anniversary of Pell this year.”

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) in her opening remarks to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) hearing with Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.



Barbara K. Mistick, D.M.
President, NAICU

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