Federal budget deadlines pushed to March

On January 19, President Joe Biden signed into law a continuing resolution (H.R. 2872) that will fund the government into March avoiding a shutdown and giving lawmakers additional time to determine how to allocate funds for FY 24. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Shumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) reached the $1.66 trillion bipartisan deal to keep the federal government operating. However, agreement spending levels for the 12 appropriations bills that make up the discretionary parts of the federal budget have yet to be determined. 

The bill sets a March 1 deadline to pass the FY24 Agriculture-FDA, Energy-Water, Military Construction-VA, and Transportation-HUD bills and a March 8 deadline to pass the remaining eight appropriations bills. The temporary measure does not include any supplemental funding, border security packages, or cuts to existing levels of funding. The House voted 313-108 to pass the bill, while the Senate passed it in a 77-18 vote. The entire Oregon delegation voted for the continuing resolution.

APLU President Mark Becker wrote a letter urging lawmakers to prioritize robust investments in higher education and research. He said “higher education and scientific research programs provide unique Return on Investment (ROI) to the nation and are essential to grow our economy, advance social mobility, and enhance global competitiveness at a time when competitor nations are making increased investments of their own.” 

He further reminds the appropriations committees that “Investment in student financial aid programs opens doors to postsecondary education for low income students and furthers the development of the next-generation workforce America will require to remain a world leader...The data overwhelmingly shows the top reason students, including academically high-achieving students, drop out of college is financial hardship. Cuts to student aid would create unneeded instability in the talent pipeline, while robust investment in these programs limits borrowing, encourages the next generation of students, and keeps low-income students on a path to degree completion”. 

Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and House Appropriations Committee Chair Kay Granger (R-TX) will be working on the subcommittee allocations with the goal to finish them as soon as possible before the new March deadlines.