The House Budget Committee passed its massive $1.9 trillion
budget reconciliation bill on Monday, Feb. 22, paving the way for what is
expected to be a party-line vote on the House floor by the end of this week.
The bill implements the Biden administration’s COVID
rescue package and includes $40 billion in assistance to higher education.
education provisions of the House version of the reconciliation bill differ
from both the Biden COVID rescue proposal and the provisions of the Coronavirus
Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), which was
passed at the end of last year and provided a second supplemental aid package
for colleges and universities.
The version of the HEER fund in the House bill differs
from the version included in CRRSAA in several ways. First, it would require
institutions to spend 50% of their funding on emergency grants for students (as
required in the CARES Act but not the second aid package or the CRRSSA) and
would allow them to determine which enrolled students receive the aid. It also
treats institutions with significant endowments in the same manner as other
eligible colleges and universities—a departure from previous policy of
requiring them to spend their entire allotment on aid to students.
Last week, in what is good news for education advocates, the
Senate Appropriations Committee announced
its full subcommittee memberships, as well as the subcommittee chairs and ranking
While recent changes
in Senate Democratic caucus rules had created some doubt as to whether Sen.
Patty Murray (D-WA) would retain her position as chair of the Labor, Health and
Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee, she maintained the
position for this Congress. The Subcommittee’s ranking member continues to be Sen.
Roy Blunt (R-MO). View
a full list of the subcommittees, as well as their chairs and ranking members.