Congress Acts on Tax Reform and FY 2018 Appropriations
Congress Acts on Tax Reform and FY 2018 Appropriations

December 2017

Congress has had a busy holiday season, working concurrently to enact legislation to reform the tax code and to fund the government for a little longer in the 2018 fiscal year.

On December 20, the House passed the final tax legislation, sending it to the White House for the president’s signature. The final bill resolved several differences between the initial House and Senate bills, including the potential repeal of the graduate student tuition waiver.

The initial Senate bill would have preserved this benefit, while the House would have repealed it, effectively charging the waiver as taxable income. The conference committee decided to retain the Senate language, keeping the graduate student waiver intact. AERA was among 44 scientific and engineering societies that signed a letter urging Congress to preserve this benefit.

On December 7, the House and Senate passed a continuing resolution that would continue to fund the government in FY 2018 through December 22, with the intent to address the budget caps and a fix to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that would protect immigrants in the U.S. under DACA from being deported. As of press, Congress is considering another continuing resolution that would extend funding for government programs through January 19.

AERA, as part of the Coalition for Education Funding, participated in a tweetstorm on December 5 to highlight the need to raise the budget caps to prevent cuts to education funding, including research.