Latest Update: Budget Reconciliation in the Senate

Just before the winter holiday, President Biden signed HR 5545, the Responsible Education Mitigating Options and Technical Extensions (REMOTE) Act into law. The measure will extend full GI Bill benefits to student veterans taking remote classes through summer 2022. Representative David Trone (D-MD), the sponsor of the legislation, stated in a press release “Our student veterans’ housing benefits were threatened when colleges and universities moved to remote learning, leaving veterans still living on campus in the lurch. This was not right, and we fixed it. The REMOTE Learning Act extends housing benefits to veterans during the pandemic, as our educational institutions continue to grapple with new variants and other challenges brought by COVID-19.” CGS signed on to letters to Congress in October and November 2021 regarding resolving the rounding out issue that impacts student veterans.

President Biden Announces Additional Pause on Student Loan Repayment

On December 22, President Joe Biden released a statement extending the pause on student loan repayment. The statement says, “we know that millions of student loan borrowers are still coping with the impacts of the pandemic and need some more time before resuming payments. This is an issue Vice President Harris has been closely focused on, and one we both care deeply about. Given these considerations, today my Administration is extending the pause on federal student loan repayments for an additional 90 days — through May 1, 2022 — as we manage the ongoing pandemic and further strengthen our economic recovery.”


This is the third time student loan payments have been paused during the Biden Administration. The first pause was announced on Biden’s first day in office through September 2021. The second pause was announced in August 2021 through January 31, 2022.


For more information, please read the U.S. Department of Education’s press release on this latest pause in student loan repayments.

Department of Education Federal Register Notice on Fulbright-Hays

Before the winter holiday, the Department of Education released a Federal Register notice regarding the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Program. The notice calls for information collection to determine the performance of the fellows and the program. Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before February 22, 2022. The DDRA program provides grants to fund doctoral students who conduct research in other countries in modern foreign languages and area studies. Projects deepen research knowledge on and help the nation develop capability in areas of the world not typically included in U.S. curricula. CGS strongly supports strengthening investments in programs that allow U.S. graduate students to participate in international research opportunities.

Ranking Members of Education Committees Seek Clarification on PSLF Changes

On January 6, ranking members of the Senate and House Education Committees sent a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona regarding the recent changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program in October 2021. The letter states “we requested the production of various documents to understand the Department’s rationale for its decision and the supposed authority to change unilaterally statutory requirements prescribed by Congress.” Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) and Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC) are submitting a request of the legal and budgetary analysis of the Department’s decision to announce changes to the PSLF on October 6, 2021.

Public Comment Request on the International Resource Information System

The Department of Education released a Federal Register notice on the performance reporting system for grantees of International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) programs. The International Resource Information System (IRIS) also allows IFLE program officers to process overseas language requests, travel authorization requests, and grant activation requests. IRIS keeps a record of these requests and of Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship recipients and grantee performance reports. All written comments should be submitted before January 26, 2022.