House Fails to Introduce Amendment to Slash IES Funding, Budget Deal Reached for Start of FY 2018
 
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September 2017

A proposed amendment to the House omnibus appropriations bill for FY 2018 that would have slashed funding at the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) by $195 million, nearly a third of its budget, was ultimately not introduced on the House floor during debate on September 13.  

When the proposed amendment, from Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL) earlier came to light, AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine released a statement opposing it, and AERA issued an action alert for association members. More than 500 people took action, contacting their representatives’ offices.

“Thank you to the hundreds of education researchers who reached out to their members of Congress and made their voices heard,” said Levine. “Our members effectively made the case that the federal investment in education research matters in advancing evidence-based practice and policy.”

The FY 2018 bill passed by a 211–198 vote on the heels of a deal between the Democratic leadership and President Donald Trump to lift the debt ceiling limit and introduce a continuing resolution (CR), extending current FY 2017 levels of funding through December 8. The CR also included relief for victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. The President signed the legislation into law on September 8.

Meanwhile, the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee held a markup hearing for its FY 2018 appropriations bill on September 6, which the full Appropriations Committee advanced on September 7. Compared to the House omnibus bill, the Senate legislation would provide $600 million for IES, with cuts of $2.5 million to both the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and the Research, Development, and Dissemination line items.

Both chambers have proposed a funding boost for the National Institutes of Health, including the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The Senate bill includes $1.43 billion for NICHD, an increase of $394 million over 2017 levels. The House bill would fund NICHD at $1.4 billion, which would represent an increase of $369 million.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) received some targeted cuts in both chambers, with overall cuts to NSF totaling $163 million in the House and $167 million in the Senate compared to 2017. The House bill did maintain current funding levels for the Research and Related Activities (R&RA) at $6.03 billion and Education and Human Resources (EHR) at $880 million. The Senate bill contains small cuts to both of the line items, as R&RA would be funded at $5.85 billion, a decrease of $115 million, while EHR would be funded at $862.4, a decrease of $17.6 million. 

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