115th Congress

    CGS Letter in Support of Student Loan Bill (10/23/2018)

    On October 23, CGS sent a letter to the co-sponsors of the Affordable Loans for Any Student Act of 2018 (S.3584), expressing support for certain provisions which would benefit graduate students, including changes to income-based repayment options, expanding loan counseling, and elimination of origination fees. 

     

    CGS Letter Thanks Congress for Passage of Opioid Bill (10/10/2018)

    On October 10, CGS sent a letter thanking Congress for passing H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act, which would address the growing opioid epidemic in the U.S. In particular, the letter highlights a new program that would repay the student loans of healthcare professionals in substance use disorder occupations, serving as an incentive for entry into these high-demand fields. 

     

    CGS Letter Thanking Congress for Passing FY 2019 Education, NIH Funding (10/1/2018)

    On October 1, CGS sent a letter commending Congress for passing a Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 spending package that includes the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education bill. The letter specifically praises increases to student financial aid and research priorities that directly support graduate education. 

     

    Community Letter on FY 2019 Labor-HHS-Education Spending Bill (9/25/2018)

    On September 25, CGS signed onto a higher education community letter to House leaders expressing strong support for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Labor-HHS-Education bill, which increases funding to a number of student aid programs, including those that benefit graduate students such, as Federal Work Study and Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). The letter also praises the increase for science and research conducted by the National Institutes of Health included in the bill. 

     

    Task Force Letters on FY 2019 DOE and DOD Funding (9/19/2018)

    On September 19, as part of the Task Force on American Innovation, CGS joined two letters to the leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Energy-Water and Defense thanking them for their bipartisan work in funding science and research conducted at the Departments of Energy and Defense for fiscal year 2019. 

     

    Community Letter Urges OSTP Confirmation (9/19/2018)

    On September 19, CGS signed onto a community letter to Senate leadership asking them to swiftly confirm Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier as the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). 

     

    CGS Letter in Support of OSTP Director Nomination (8/21/2018)

    On August 21, CGS sent a letter to the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee in support of the nomination of Kelvin Droegemeier to be the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The letter highlights Dr. Droegemeier’s strong credentials as well OSTP’s important role in the work the federal government does around science and research, and its impact on graduate education. It asks the committee to quickly confirm his nomination.

     

    Community Letter on OSTP Director Nomination (8/20/2018)

    On August 20, CGS signed onto a community letter to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation in support of Kelvin Droegemeier to head the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The letter underlines the science community’s strong support for his nomination and asks senators to advance it expeditiously to a floor vote.

     

    Letter in Support of College Student Mental Health Bill (8/3/2018)

    On August 3, CGS sent a letter in support of the Higher Education Mental Health Commission Act (S.3106). The bill, introduced by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), would create a national commission to makes recommendations for improvement around services available to students with mental health issues. The letter urges Senator Casey and his colleagues to remain aware of the unique needs of graduate students, “non-traditional” students, and student veterans as this legislation moves forward. It also encourages representation of the graduate education community on the commission.  

     

    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 programs 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. 

     

    Letter Commending Passage of Senate FY 2019 LHHS-ED Bill (7/7/2018)

    On July 7, CGS sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee commending passage of its Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS-ED) bill. The bill reflects investments in graduate education and research, and its passage marks an important step in the committee’s work toward completing a comprehensive FY 2019 spending package.

     

    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 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).

     

    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.

     

    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.

     

    Comments to HELP Committee on HEA Reauthorization (2/23/2018)

    On February 23, CGS submitted comments to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee on policy principles around the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). The letter highlighted the erosion of federal financial support for graduate students over the years, and asked the committee to be cognizant of the different needs that graduate students have, particularly as it comes to aggregate loan limits, financial aid counseling, lack of access to Pell Grants, and programs such as GAANN, PSLF, and Federal Work-Study. 

     

    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 Letters 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 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 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 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 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 Committee 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 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. 

     

    Letter to House Education and the Workforce Committee Regarding Graduate Student Loans (02/21/2017)

    On February 21, CGS President Suzanne Ortega sent a letter to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce with respect to comments made at a February 7 hearing regarding proposals to either scale back or eliminate the Grad PLUS program. 

     

    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 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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