Senate to Vote on House FY 2012 Budget Resolution
The Senate is expected to vote, as early as today, on the fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget resolution that was passed by the Republican-controlled House on April 15. The House resolution would severely cut funding for Pell Grants and other student aid programs by reducing spending to pre-stimulus (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) levels.
NASFAA sent a letter yesterday to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) urging them to oppose the budget resolution.
The House budget resolution is expected to fail in the Democratic-controlled Senate where leaders have been unable to agree to any FY 2012 budget resolution. Without an agreement, the FY 2012 budget process has stalled in the Senate and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) has indicated that he will wait for the outcome of White House-led bipartisan deficit reduction talks before releasing the Senate's version of the budget resolution. These deficit reduction talks are being led by Vice President Joe Biden who is working to create a bipartisan agreement on a deficit reduction package to convince Republicans to support raising the federal debt ceiling.
The House continues to move forward with the budget process and has assigned overall spending levels to the 12 appropriations committees. The Labor, Health, Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee was given an overall funding level of $139 billion for FY 2012, roughly $42 billion lower than what President Obama proposed in his FY 2012 budget request. In late July, the House subcommittee is scheduled to mark-up the FY 2012 appropriation bill, setting funding levels for specific programs, including the federal student aid programs. Last year this process was never completed and Congress was forced to pass a series of short- and long-term continuing resolutions to keep programs funded.
To help you track funding levels for student aid programs, NASFAA has created a table that lists FY 2010 and 2011 funding levels and proposed FY 2012 funding levels. We will update the table as the budget process progresses.