NASFAA Signs Onto Letter Opposing Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act and DETERRENT Act

By Maria Carrasco, NASFAA Staff Reporter Hugh T. Ferguson, NASFAA Managing Editor

NASFAA, along with dozens of other higher education organizations, signed onto a letter urging lawmakers from the House Rules Committee to oppose efforts to add the Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act and the Defending Education Transparency and Ending Rogue Regimes Engaging in Nefarious Transactions (DETERRENT) Act to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The organizations argue since they previously opposed these bills, they remain in opposition to the two bills being added on as amendments to the NDAA. Details about the NDAA can be found on the House Rules Committee website

The letter specifically argues that the amendments being offered to NDAA are non-germane and should be considered separately through the regular order, noting that the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) committee should hold a hearing on both bills.

On the Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act, the signatories take issue with a concerning provision intended to help cover the cost of the legislation that would prohibit certain private institutions that are subject to an excise tax on investment income, also known as the endowment tax, from awarding federal student loans to eligible students. 

“Under the offset contained within this legislation, institutions that are subject to the endowment tax would be required to submit a risk-sharing payment to the U.S. Department of Education, and these institutions would not be able to offer federal student aid to their students on their campuses through the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program unless certain conditions are met,” the letter reads.

On the DETERRENT Act, the organizations state they appreciate the effort of this legislation to amend foreign gift and contract reporting requirements for institutions, but they warn lawmakers that there could be significant harm to institutions. Specifically the letter expresses concern with the privacy of research faculty and staff; the potential hampering of productive international collaborations; and that the language tasks the Department of Education with new authorities it is not equipped to implement. 


Publication Date: 6/12/2024

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