Another Short-Term Spending Bill Enacted, as Congress Eyes an Omnibus in March

By Hugh T. Ferguson, NASFAA Senior Staff Reporter

Congressional negotiators are of the belief that an agreement over spending levels for the current fiscal year is not yet out of reach, prompting the enactment of another continuing resolution to keep the government funded through March 11. Fiscal year 2022, which began on October 1, determines federal student aid funding levels for 2022-23 award year.

President Joe Biden signed the stop-gap spending bill into law on Friday February 18, enabling appropriators to continue their discussions surrounding the annual budget cycle.

“We are close to reaching a framework government funding agreement, but we will need additional time to complete the legislation in full,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) who serves as chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee.

In previous years, the appropriations process has served as a legislative vehicle for enacting a host of policy changes in addition to funding levels for the Department of Education (ED). 

For this year’s package, there’s been language floated that could offer significant increases for the Pell Grant program, increased funding for campus-based aid programs, and codification of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The delay in an agreement over the current fiscal year spending has required Federal Student Aid (FSA) to sort through a timeline for the Payment and Disbursement Schedules for determining Federal Pell Grant awards for the 2022-23 award year.

On January 31, FSA announced the 2022-23 Pell Grant Payment and Disbursement Schedules but cautioned that congress could still make changes to the 2022-23 maximum Pell Grant award as it finalizes fiscal year 2022 spending, which would result in revised schedules.

As things currently stand the maximum Pell Grant remains fixed at $6,495, the 2021-22 maximum award level. The corresponding maximum Pell Grant-eligible expected family contribution (EFC) remains fixed at 5,846, according to FSA. 

Stay tuned to Today’s News for more developments on the annual appropriations process.

 

Publication Date: 2/22/2022


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