Federal Roundup: US House passes budget resolution; proposed changes to the Fair Labor Standard Act

The FY17 budget resolution was proposed on March 15 by the US House Budget Committee chair Paul Ryan (R-WI-1). While the budget resolution adheres to last year’s budget agreement, it also proposes deep cuts in nondefense discretionary spending in FY18 and beyond. The budget resolution functions as a blueprint to guide spending decisions by Congress in the appropriations process.

Association of American Universities president Hunter Rawlings said such cuts "could devastate the nation's investments in research and higher education," and would " make an American innovation deficit all but inevitable in the years to come, as other countries continue to invest heavily in the people, ideas, and discoveries essential to innovation, economic growth, health, and national security."

According to Rawlings, the nation faces long-term fiscal issues, and the solution should not be to reduce investments but to reform entitlement programs and taxes in ways that control spending, raise revenues, and protect the most vulnerable in our society.

Proposed changes to Fair Labor Standards Act

Proposals to change the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations affecting employee exemptions for overtime pay were finalized on March 14. The Department of Labor sent the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs a draft of its final modifications.

The Association of American Universities and Association of Public and Land Grant-Universities joined 16 other higher education associations in submitting extensive comments to the department in September 2015 detailing concerns about the proposed FLSA changes. The associations seek to clarify several aspects of the changes.