This week, Senate Democrats released the nine remaining appropriations bills to fund the government for Fiscal Year 2022. The current continuing resolution to fund the government ends on December 3, meaning Congress must pass either all 12 appropriations bills, by that date, or pass another Continuing Resolution to prevent a government shutdown. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) stated in a press release, “These bills make important investments in our nation’s infrastructure, our environment, and the middle class, including historic increases to promote affordable housing, educate our nation’s children, combat climate change, and improve healthcare. I have previously called for bipartisan, bicameral, negotiations on topline spending for Fiscal Year 2022, and I renew that call today so we can enact all 12 appropriations bills by December 3rd, when the current Continuing Resolution expires.”
The FY 2022 Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill includes provisions that impact graduate education. The bill provides $1.2 billion for the Federal Work Study Program and $25.6 million for the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need program. The bill also promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion within our graduate programs. The bill devotes $27.1 million to promoting postbaccalaureate opportunities for Hispanic Americans, $100.6 million in strengthening Historically Black Graduate Institutions, and $19.8 million in strengthening master’s degree programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The bill also promotes the U.S. through international graduate education and research by providing $85.2 million in international education and foreign language studies programs and $10.8 million in funding for research abroad. The appropriations bill also includes $47.9 billion to the National Institutes of Health, including $2.4 billion for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H).
On October 21, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Richard Shelby (R-AL) floated the idea of negotiating a two-year spending bill, rather than just passing fiscal year 2022 appropriations legislation. “We’ve done a number of two-year deals,” Senate Appropriations ranking member Richard Shelby said. “A two-year deal, if you can do one, you put that off the table and you probably get more done.”
Budget Reconciliation: Build Back Better Act of 2021
CGS Joins Letter Urging Flexibility in Travel Policies for International Students and Scholars
International students and scholars would then be vaccinated upon arrival either on campus or in the surrounding community. This ensures that international students and scholars from countries with limited access to U.S. and WHO-approved vaccines are not limited in their ability to travel to the U.S. for their studies and research.
CGS and Higher Education Community Thanks Congress for their Support of Student Veterans
Both bills would extend certain COVID-related flexibilities granted to the secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in the wake of the pandemic. Without this extension, veterans could see their benefits reduced or cut off if, for example, their institution is forced to move instruction online due to the pandemic. Extending these provisions now will allow the secretary to adjust as needed and ensure that veterans’ benefits are not disrupted.
USCIS Parole Stakeholder Engagement
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will be hosting a webinar on Humanitarian Parole. Below is information about the upcoming webinar:
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services invites you to participate in a webinar on parole on Friday, Nov. 5 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern. During this webinar, we will provide an overview of parole with an update specific to Afghan nationals located outside of the U.S. who have submitted requests for parole. We will then hold a question and answer session.
- Parole allows an individual, who may be inadmissible or otherwise ineligible for admission into the United States, to be paroled into the United States for a temporary period.
- We encourage you to submit questions in advance by emailing email@example.com by 4 p.m. Eastern on Oct. 22. Put “Parole” in the subject line.