"Senate leaders on Wednesday looked poised to reach an agreement on a two-year budget deal that would lift spending caps put in place in place at federal agencies by Congress in 2011," Inside Higher Ed reports.
"The lifting of those caps has long been sought by higher ed institutions who say they threaten sustainable funding of research.
The agreement would add $4 billion in new money for student aid, according to a brief summary document circulated on Capitol Hill Wednesday, and boost spending on the National Institutes of Health by $2 billion. Not included in the deal is a fix for the group of young immigrants known as Dreamers, who have faced uncertainty over their status since President Trump announced in September that he would wind down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. DACA provides temporary protection against deportation and work authorization to hundreds of thousands of young immigrants -- including many college students -- who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
The passage of the plan is not guaranteed -- House leaders will have to corral support after it passes the Senate -- but higher ed groups appeared to breathe a sigh of relief that the government would avoid another budget showdown, even as some expressed frustration over DACA.
'We don't have all the details, but it's clear that it includes more money for nondefense spending, including NIH and student aid,' said Terry Hartle, senior vice president for government relations and public affairs at the American Council on Education. 'And it's also a two-year agreement, so the federal government will not have to go through this drawn-out budgetary dance next year.'
Hartle said his organization was disappointed, but not surprised, that DACA was left out of the deal."
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Publication Date: 2/8/2018