Community Letters

    Task Force Letter on FY 2019 Science Funding (7/9/2018) 

    As a member of the Task Force on American Innovation (TFAI), CGS joined a letter sent on July 9 to the House and Senate Appropriations committees praising them for backing robust FY 2019 funding levels for science and research progams across several federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy's Office of Science. TFAI also urged appropriators to maintain their commitment to strong investments in science in the future. 

     

    Coalition Statement on Senate FY 2019 NSF Funding (6/22/2018)

    As part of the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF), CGS joined a statement on June 22 thanking the Senate Appropriations Committee for the $8.1 billion it provided to the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of its FY 2019 Commerce-Justice-Science spending bill. The statement highlights NSF’s work in STEM education, including the support it provides to graduate students, and reiterated CNSF’s commitment to working with the full Senate to reach a higher funding level for NSF in FY 2019. 

     

    Community Letter On Discharge Petition for DACA Bills (5/24/2018)

    On May 24, CGS signed onto a community letter sent to Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), thanking him and his colleagues for leading the discharge petition to bring several bipartisan bills to a vote on the House floor that would provide a permanent solution for the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The letter voices the community’s support for this action and urges lawmakers to continue working to enact a permanent legislative fix that would protect DACA recipients.

     

    Coalition Statement on House FY 2019 NSF Funding (5/23/2018)

    As part of the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF), CGS joined a statement on May 23 thanking the House Appropriations Committee for the $8.2 billion it provided to the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of its FY 2019 Commerce-Justice-Science spending bill. The statement highlights NSF’s commitment to STEM education, including the support it provides to graduate students.

     

    Community Letter on Proposed Changes to Visa Applications (5/14/2018)

    On May 14, CGS signed onto comments submitted by the higher education community to the State Department over its proposed changes to the application for nonimmigrant visas, including student visas, work visas, and tourist visas, which would require the reporting of five years of identifiers for social media platforms, previously used telephone numbers, email addresses, and international travel. The letter highlights the community’s concerns with the message this action would send to international scholars and the impact it would have on the ability of U.S. colleges and universities to attract the world’s top students and researchers.  

     

    Community Letter on Potential FY 2018 Funding Rescission (5/4/2018)

    On May 4, CGS signed onto a higher education community letter sent to House and Senate appropriators voicing concern over a proposed rescission package to non-defense spending programs for FY 2018. Specifically, the letter highlights the potential negative implications that would result from impounding federal funds, including on certain student aid programs. A similar letter was also sent on May 4 to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

     

    Community Letter to FBI Director on Higher Ed National Security Issues (4/24/2018)

    CGS signed onto a higher education community letter sent on April 24 to FBI Director Christopher Wray expressing concern over the disbanding of the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board (NSHEAB). The letter cites a recent congressional hearing regarding heightened security concerns around international students and theft of intellectual property. It also requests a meeting with relevant national security agencies to discuss national security issues that intersect with higher education.

     

    Community Letter on DACA Renewal Process (4/13/2018)

    CGS signed onto a higher education community letter sent on April 13 to the Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen expressing support for the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) effort to process renewal applications for current Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) registrants. The letter stresses the importance of expediting the process and encourages DHS to promptly review submissions that have recently expired or will expire in the coming days and weeks, to avoid a backlog of applications which may result in a loss of protections for DACA recipients whose status many soon lapse.

     

    Coalition Letter on FY 2019 NSF Funding Request (4/12/2018)

    As a member of the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF), CGS joined a letter sent on April 12 to the chair and ranking members of the House and Senate Appropriations Commerce-Justice-Science Subcommittees asking for an appropriation of $8.45 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF) in FY 2019. As part of the justification for this request, the letter highlights NSF’s role in advancing science and research  across the scientific disciplines, and its commitment to preparing the future STEM workforce by training graduate students and postdocs.

     

    CGS Joins Amicus Breif on Travel Ban (3/29/2018)

    CGS joined 32 other higher education associations in submitting an amicus brief on March 29 to the Supreme Court on a case examining the president’s third ban on several majority-Muslim countries. The administration issued the third version of its travel ban in September 2017, which places restrictions of varying degrees on entry to the United States from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela. The brief highlights the ban’s potential impacts on U.S. college and universities.

     

    Community Letter on FY 2018 Spending Bill (3/22/2018)

    CGS signed onto a community letter sent to House and Senate leadership in support of the FY 2018 omnibus spending package. The letters highlights funding increases to a variety of higher education programs including Pell Grants, Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and Federal Work Study. It also recognizes the increased support for science and research at the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Department of Energy, as well as an increase for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts. Although not mentioned in the letter, CGS is concerned with the 17 percent cut to GAANN in the bill and what implications that could have for the program in Higher Education Act reauthorization.

     

    Community Letter on HEA Reauthorization (2/23/2018)

    CGS signed onto a community letter submitting comments on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA), sent on February 23 to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. The letter focused on several key issues of overall importance to the higher education community including maintaining the ability for all student loan borrowers—undergraduate, graduate, and parent—to continue to finance their education.

     

    Community Letter on the PROSPER Act  (2/15/2018)

    CGS signed onto a higher education community letter sent to House leadership on February 15, expressing reservations about the PROSPER Act, the House bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA). The letter highlights several concerns with the bill, including the impact on graduate students, and indicates that the community cannot support it in its current form.

     

    Community Letter on Immigration Proposals  (2/15/2018)

    CGS signed onto a community letter which was sent on February 15 to Senate leaders in support of two bipartisan bills, which would provide a pathway to citizenship to 1.8 million undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. The letter urges lawmakers to expeditiously pass legislation that would provide legal status for this population.  

    Community Letter to Congressional Leaders on DACA Legislation  (2/5/2018)

    CGS signed onto a community letter sent to House and Senate leadership on February 5 urging them to quickly pass legislation providing permanent legal status for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. This is one month before the program is due to end on March 5. 

     

    Community Thank You Letters to Members of Congress on Tax Reform (12/21/2017)

    CGS signed onto a series of community letters sent on December 21 to nine Members of Congress thanking them for their leadership roles during the consideration of the tax bill. 

     

    Community Letter Thanks Members of Congress Asking for DACA Fix (12/15/2017)

    CGS signed onto a community letter that was sent on December 15 to 36 House Republicans thanking them for their leadership in calling for a permanent legislative solution for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients before the end of the year.

     

    Community Letter on House HEA Reauthorization Bill (12/11/2017)

    On December 11, CGS signed onto a community letter to leaders of the House Education and the Workforce Committee regarding H.R. 4508, the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform Act (PROSPER), the legislation to reauthorize the Higher Education Act. The letter highlights some provisions in the bill that the community supports, but primarily outlines areas of concern, specifically calling out the loss of Federal Work-Study eligibility for graduate students, and the capping of graduate student loans through the elimination of Grad PLUS. 

     

    Coalition Letter on Elimination of PSLF in PROSPER Act (12/11/2017)

    CGS signed onto a coalition letter sent to the House Education and the Workforce Committee on December 11 urging members to reconsider the elimination of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF) as they markup the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform Act (PROSPER). 

     

    Community Letter on Higher Education Provisions in the Final Tax Bill (12/8/2017)

    On December 8, CGS signed onto a community letter to leaders of the House Ways and Means, and Senate Finance Committees highlighting provisions in the House and Senate tax bills that would have implications for higher education, including the elimination and consolidation of several benefits in the House bill that would impact graduate students. The letter urges lawmakers to consider the importance of these provisions as they begin conference negotiations on a final tax bill. 

     

    Community Letter to Conference Committee on IRC Sec. 127 (12/6/2017)

    On December 6, CGS signed onto a community letter to conferees asking them to retain Section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), employer-provided education assistance, as they negotiate the final version of the tax bill, H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

     

    Community Letter on Charitable Giving Amendment in the Senate Tax Bill (11/30/2017)

    On November 30, CGS signed onto a community letter to Senate leadership in support of an amendment to the Senate tax bill, introduced by Senator James Lankford (R-OK), which allows non-itemizing taxpayers to deduct charitable donations up to one-third of the standard deduction threshold. Concerns remain that the proposal to double the standard deduction would discourage taxpayers from itemizing and reduce the amount of charitable giving, which could have significant implications for institutions of higher education.

     

    Community Letter on Senate Tax Reform Bill (11/14/2017)

    On November 14, CGS signed onto the community letter to the Senate Finance Committee regarding the Senate version of H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The letter thanks the committee for maintaining student benefits that the House bill eliminates, many of which would impact graduate students. It also specifies the provisions in the Senate bill which will have a negative impact on higher education, such as the increase in the standard deduction which could impact charitable contributions, the repeal of state and local tax (SALT) deduction, and the creation of a new excise tax on endowments at certain private institutions.

     

    Community Letter on House Tax Reform Bill (11/6/2017)

    On November 6, CGS signed onto a community letter to the leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee highlighting the negative impacts H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would have on higher education. The letter focused specifically on provisions which would severely impact graduate students, including the elimination of: IRC Section 221, the deduction of interest paid on student loans; IRC Section 117(d), deduction of qualified tuition reductions, such as waivers and/or remissions; IRC Section 127, deduction of employer-provided education assistance; and the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC), instead expanding the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) to include a fifth year of reduced support. 

     

    Coalition Letter on Elimination of IRC Sec. 127 in the House Tax Bill (11/3/2017)

    On November 3, as part pf the Coalition to Preserve Employer-Provided Education Assistance, CGS signed onto a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee asking lawmakers to preserve and strengthen IRC Sec. 127, employer-provided education assistance, as they consider H.R. 1. 

     

    Coalition Lettes to the House and Senate on IRC Sec. 127 Legislation (10/27/2017)

    On October 27, CGS joined a coalition of higher education, business, and labor organizations on letters to House and Senate members in support of two companion bills that would increase the annual amount employers may provide in tax-exempt educational benefits under Section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code. The legislation would increase the annual assistance limit from $5,250 to $11,500, and index that amount for inflation.

     

    Community Letter on Perkins Loan Program Extension (9/27/2017)

    On September 27, CGS signed onto a community letter to House leadership asking them to schedule an expeditious vote on H.R. 2482, the Perkins Loan Extension Act, which would reauthorize the federal Perkins Loan program, due to expire on September 30, 2017. 

     

    Community Letter on Overtime Rule (9/25/2017)

    On September 25, CGS signed onto a community letter submitting comments to the Labor Department (DOL) regarding proposed changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime pay requirements. The letter highlights the impact the proposed rule would have on postdoctoral researchers at institutions of higher education. CGS signed onto a similar set of comments to DOL in 2015. 

     

    Community Letter on Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Bill (9/25/2017)

    On September 25, CGS signed onto a community letter to Senate leaders that raises concerns with Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Specifically, the letter focuses on the bill’s proposed changes to Medicaid financing and the impact that would have on state budgets, which would affect their ability to fund higher education. It also highlights the potential loss of healthcare coverage, particularly in areas of mental health, that many students will experience. CGS signed onto a similar letter earlier this year when a previous “repeal and replace” bill was considered. 

     

    Community Letter on Higher Ed Regulations (9/20/2017)

    On September 20, CGS signed onto a higher education community letter submitting comments to the Department of Education with respect to regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement or modification. The letter highlighted recommendations made by a 2015 taskforce report, focusing on financial responsibility standards, return of Title IV funds, and state authorization. In August, CGS signed onto a similar letter, which provided recommendations on the negotiated rulemaking process, and also highlighted the 2015 report.  

     

    CGS Joins Higher Education Community Amicus Brief on Travel Ban (9/19/2017)

    On September 19, CGS along with 29 other higher education associations submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court regarding President Trump's second executive order which banned refugees and immigrants from several majority-Muslim countries. The brief focuses on the importance of maintaining a welcoming perception to international students and scholars. It highlighted the risks of deterring them from studying, teaching and researching in the United States. Further, it argues that the travel ban has already harmed America's reputation in the global education market.

     

    Community Letter on DACA Legislation (9/12/2017)

    On September 12, CGS signed onto a higher education community letter to House and Senate leadership regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was rescinded last week. The letter urges Congress to expedite passage of legislation that would permanently protect individuals currently under the program. 

     

    Community Letter in Support of Legislation Expanding IRC Sec. 127 (9/11/2017)

    On September 11, CGS signed onto a community letter in support of H.R. 795, the Employer Participation in Student Loan Assistance Act, which would expand the current Internal Revenue Code Sec. 127 to allow employers to provide tax-free student loan repayment assistance to employees. The letter asks Congress to include this bill in any upcoming tax legislative package.

     

    Coalition Letter on FY 2018 Budget Caps and NSF Funding (9/5/2017)

    On September 5, CSG signed onto a Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) letter encouraging Congress to enact a bipartisan budget agreement that would increase spending caps for discretionary programs in FY 2018, and to ensure funding of at least $7.8 billion for NSF in FY 2018. 

     

    Community Letters on DACA (August 2017)

    In late August, prior to a September 5th announcement by the administration,CGS signed onto two community letters to President Trump asking him to keep the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in place and work with Congress on a long-term solution. 

     

    Community Letter to Department of Education on Executive Order 13781 (8/4/2017)

    On August 4, CGS signed onto a community letter offering comments to the Education Department with respect to Executive Order 13781 of March 13, 2017 (Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch). The letter focuses on the Department’s negotiated rulemaking process, providing a set of recommendations that can be used to amend or improve the current process. 

     

    Community Letter in Support of Dream Act of 2017 (8/2/2017)

    On August 2, CGS signed onto a community letter to House and Senate lawmakers who sponsored the recently reintroduced Dream Act of 2017. The letter supports the legislation which would provide legal status and a path to citizenship to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children and are currently protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

     

    Community Statement on Imprisoned Graduate Student (7/27/017)

    On July 27, CGS joined the higher education community in a statement to the media on Princeton graduate student, Xiyue Wang, who was recently given a 10-year prison sentence in Iran. The statement highlighted the chilling effect this could have on scholarship and cultural exchange throughout the world and called for his safe release.

     

    Community Letter on the Dream Act of 2017 (7/25/017)

    On July 25, CGS signed onto a higher education community letter in support of the recently reintroduced Dream Act, which would grant legal status and a path to citizenship to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children and are currently protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

     

    Community Letter on House FY 2018 Labor-HHS-Education Spending Bill (7/19/2017)

    On July 19, CGS signed onto a higher education community letter to the chairman and ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee. It expressed overall support for the FY 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which does not include the Administration’s proposal to cap reimbursements of facilities and administrative (F&A) costs. It also increases funding for TRIO programs and maintains Federal Work-Study. The letter expresses concerns with the proposed cut to the Pell surplus and asks Congress to raise defense and non-defense spending caps, which would allow for more funding to programs such as Graduate Assistance for Areas of National Need (GAANN) and Fulbright Hays grants. 

     

    Comments to Senate Finance Committee on Higher Ed Tax Reform Issues (7/17/2017)

    On July 17, CGS signed onto comments submitted by the higher education community to the Senate Finance Committee in response to Senator Hatch’s request for stakeholders to submit their priorities for tax reform. The comments focused on tax provisions that impact students, families and institutions. Highlighted were: preserving tax benefits that enhance access for graduate students, specifically focusing on the Student Loan Interest Deduction (SLID); and preserving the student FICA exemption as well as sections 127 and 117(d) of the Internal Revenue Code. The letter also encouraged the committee to consolidate the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) and the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC) into a two-part AOTC, indicating that any such effort should also provide benefits to graduate students. 

     

    Comments to Senate Finance Commitee on IRC Sec. 127 (7/14/2017)

    On July 14, CGS joined a coalition of higher education, business, and labor organizations in submitting comments to the Senate Finance Committee on tax reform options. Specifically, the letter supports maintaining and strengthening IRC Sec. 127, employer-provided education assistance, in any upcoming tax package. Currently, Sec. 127 allows an employee to exclude from income up to $5,250 per year in assistance for any type of educational course at the undergraduate and graduate level.

     

    Community Letter on SHIPs for Graduate Students (7/12/2017)

    On July 12, CGS signed on a higher education community letter that responded to a “request for information” regarding reducing regulatory burdens imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act & Improving Healthcare Choices To Empower Patients to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The letter requests that guidance be issued stating that institutions of higher education do not violate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) market rules if they subsidize their student health insurance plan (SHIP) coverage and will not be penalized for doing so.

     

    Community Letter on ACA Repeal and Replace Bill (6/27/2017)

    On June 27, CGS signed onto a community letter to Senate leadership voicing the higher education community’s concerns with respect to the Senate bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Specifically, the letter highlights the impacts the cuts to Medicaid would have on state budgets and the subsequent impact on higher education, students and teaching hospitals.

     

    Community Letter on Education and Research Funding in FY 2018 (6/7/2017)

    On June 7, CGS signed onto a higher education community letter to the House and Senate Budget and Appropriations Committees, asking them to maintain their commitment to student financial aid and scientific research in FY 2018 funding. The letter also urges the committee to remove the spending caps for FY 2018 and encourages Congress to build upon the funding they provided in the final FY 2017 omnibus package. CGS President Suzanne Ortega previously issued a statement on the President’s budget request.

     

    Community Letter in Support of FY 2017 Funding Bill (5/3/2017)

    On May 3, CGS signed onto a community letter sent to House and Senate leadership in support of the passage of H.R. 244, the Fiscal Year 2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act. In particular, the letter highlighted the increase in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding as well as the bill’s support for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Humanities (NEA and NEH) and a number of higher education financial assistance programs, including the restoration of year-round Pell Grants. 

     

    Community Letter on Fiscal Year 2017 Funding (4/5/2017)

    On April 5, CGS signed onto a community letter sent to House and Senate leadership encouraging Congress to complete its work on the FY 2017 appropriations process in an expeditious and non-controversial manner. The letter also opposed any proposed cuts by the Administration to programs or agencies that impact higher education including the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

     

    Coalition Letter on Science Funding (4/3/2017)

    CSG signed onto a Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) letter in support of overall science funding that included a recommendation of $8 billion in FY 2018 appropriations for the National Science Foundation (NSF). Language provided by CGS on the importance of funding for graduate traineeships and research assistantships was included in the final draft of the letter. 

     

    Community Letter to Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) (3/2/2017)

    CGS joined a coalition of higher education, business, and labor organizations in a letter of support for H.R. 795, the Employer Participation in Student Loan Assistance Act of 2017, which would expand Sec.127 of the Internal Revenue Code to allow employers to provide student loan repayment assistance. 

     

    Letters to the House and Senate in Support of IRC Sec. 127 (2/7/2017)

    CGS joined a coalition of higher education, business, and labor organizations in letters to the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee in support of Sec.127 of the Internal Revenue Code. Sec.127 is an employer-provided educational benefit that allows an employee to exclude from income up to $5,250 per year in assistance.

     

    Community Letter to President Trump on the Impact of Immigration Ban on U.S. Science (1/31/2017)

    CGS has signed onto a community letter with 164 other higher education associations, scientific organizations and institutions of higher education, to President Donald Trump asking him to rescind Executive Order, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States. The letter highlights the negative impact the Executive Order will have on the science and engineering capacity of the United States.

     

    Letter to Department of Homeland Security Regarding the Executive Order on Immigration (1/31/2017)

    CGS joined 46 other higher education associations on a letter to the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) John Kelly voicing the concerns of the higher education community with respect to how the administrations Executive Order, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, will affect institutions of higher education. The letter requests a meeting with the Department to discuss the concerns of the higher education community and offers to work with DHS to create policies that enhance our security without harming our ability to attract international students and scholars. 

     

    Community Letter the Bridge Act (1/12/2017)

    CGS joined 20 other higher education associations on a letter to Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) in support of S.128, the “Bar Removal of Individuals Who Dream and Grow our Economy” (BRIDGE) Act. The letter stresses the bill’s importance to students who are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients on college campuses and encourages its expeditious passage.  

     

     

     

     

     

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