DC Digest – March 11, 2019


The DC Digest
Duke Government Relations
In Today’s Issue: 
  • President Trump’s Budget Proposal
Today, March 11, the White House released its FY20 budget proposal. The $4.7 trillion blueprint once again proposes a boost for defense and security programs offset by deep cuts to domestic discretionary programs. The budget document is a wish list for the Administration. Congress will spend the coming weeks and months developing a budget resolution and appropriations bills that align with its own priorities.
As in the past two years, it is expected that Congress will deny many of the Administration’s proposed cuts and maintain or increase funding for education and research programs of interest to Duke. It is important to note that the funding increases over the last two years were made possible by the 2018 bipartisan agreement to raise budget caps for discretionary funding. That two-year deal expires at the end of FY 19 and without a new agreement, Congress will need to operate within austere spending limits provided by the 2011 Budget Control Act.
Today’s budget document is an overview of the topline funding levels for various federal agencies. More detailed budget documents are expected to be released over the coming days and into next week. Information on programs of interest to Duke that have been published as of this afternoon:
  • FY20 Presidential proposal: $33 billion 
  • FY 19 Final (current):  $39.1 billion
  • FY20 Presidential proposal: $7.1 billion
  • FY 19 Final (current): $8.075 billion
Office of Science
  • FY20 Presidential proposal: $5.5 billion
  • FY 19 Final (current): $6.58 billion
  • FY20 Presidential proposal: $0
  • FY 19 Final (current): $366 million
EPA S&T                                              
  • FY20 Presidential proposal: $463 million
  • FY 19 Final (current): $706 million
NASA Science                                 
  • FY20 Presidential proposal: $6.3 billion
  • FY 19 Final (current): $6.9 billion 
Department of Education
  • FY20 Presidential proposal: $0
  • FY 19 Final (current): $840 million
  • FY20 Presidential proposal: $500 million    
  • FY 19 Final (current): $1.1 billion
Pell Grant Maximum Award                                                   
  • FY20 Presidential proposal: $6,195
  • FY 19 Final (current): $6,195
International Education/Title VI                                
  • FY20 Presidential proposal: $0
  • FY 19 Final (current): $72 million

In the FY20 budget request, the White House is signaling their higher education priorities of improved institutional accountability, expanded Pell access and reforms to the student loan process. 
Specifically, the administration is proposing to:
  • Introduce student loan-risk sharing with colleges
  • Consolidate income-driven repayment plans into a single plan
  • Eliminate the student loan forgiveness program
  • Expand eligibility for the use of Pell Grants for short-term training programs
In the coming weeks and months, members of the Duke community will meet with members of Congress and their staff to discuss a number of funding and policy issues. The goal is to maintain and increase, where possible, funding for research and programs that support Duke’s faculty and students.
The OGR encourages Duke community engagement and involvement in these issues and welcomes the opportunity to meet with groups of faculty, staff, departments and individuals to discuss the current federal landscape and ideas for elevating Duke’s visibility and priorities in Washington.
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