Infrastructure Bill Passes + Build Back Better Act Gets Blocked | Policy Matters (December 2021)
- Infrastructure Bill Passes + Build Back Better Act Gets Blocked
President Biden signed the Infrastructure Bill into law in the middle of November, with bipartisan support. The bill contained significant investments in broadband infrastructure and affordability, and ways in which institutions of higher education may receive grants for research or execution of climate change and infrastructure projects, among many other items. At the time of the bills passage, there were also Democratic intraparty promises that the social spending Build Back Better Act would be immediately voted on following the vote on the infrastructure package. That seems all the more unlikely as Democrats were blindsided when Senator Manchin (D-WV) publicly stated he would be voting no on the Build Back Better Act, almost certainly ending the possibility it would pass in short order, and casting into doubt whether Democratic leadership would even bring the bill up for voting at all.
- Negotiated Rulemaking Session at Department of Education Wraps Up, Consensus Not Achieved on Key Issues
In early December, the Department of Education wrapped up its third round and final round of negotiated rulemaking sessions, with 8 out of 12 issues not coming into full consensus on the language within the proposed regulations. Without the committee’s consensus, the Department itself may craft the regulatory language on these issues. A few of the issues that did not achieve consensus included Borrower Defense to Repayment, closed-school loan discharges, loan repayment plans, and Public Service Loan Forgiveness. While we wait to see the proposed final language, the Department is already ramping up for another round of negotiating. A new rulemaking session covering other issues, including Gainful Employment, financial responsibility rules for institutions, and others will be beginning in the new year.
- Biden extends pause on student loan repayment through May 1 (CNN)
- Congress Allows Online Student Veterans to Keep Full Benefits (Inside Higher Ed)
- Congress Averts Shutdown, Delays Changes to Higher Ed Budget (Inside Higher Ed)
- U.S. Department of Education Announces $182 Million in Education Innovation and Research Grants to Improve Academic Achievement for Underserved Students
UPCEA Policy Committee
Mark Bernhard, North Carolina State University, Co-Chair
Frank Principe, University of Maryland Global Campus, Co-Chair
Kristen Brown, University of Louisville
Ricky LaFosse, University of Michigan
Reed Scull, University of Wyoming
Dick Senese, Capella University