Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

 Email  Share  Print

WEDNESDAY BUZZ: House FY 2012 Republican Budget Plan Slashes Student Aid; Fate of 2011 Budget Still Unclear

April 06, 2011


The FY 2012 budget plan released yesterday by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) would impose major changes on key government entitlement programs and sweeping cuts in domestic spending, including Pell Grants and funding for university research and job training programs.

Although it is unlikely to succeed in the Senate, as The New York Times pointed out this morning, “the plan sets the conservative parameter of the debate over the nation’s budget priorities further to the right than at any time since the modern federal government began taking shape nearly eight decades ago.”

The proposal, which will be marked up in the House Budget Committee today and is likely to be considered on the House floor next week, calls for cutting spending $6 trillion over a decade, restructuring programs such as Medicaid and Medicare, and reducing and restructuring taxes. Pell Grants would be scaled back to their pre-stimulus (2008) level, cutting the annual federal allocation by about half.

“It’s obviously pretty drastic, and the impact on Pell is dire,” Becky Timmons, assistant vice president for government relations at ACE, told Inside Higher Ed.

“There is no question that the recent economic downturn has put unsustainable pressure on federal student aid programs, and there is no question that reducing the deficit is part of ensuring a healthy economic recovery,” said the Student Aid Alliance in a news release last night. “But proposals to reduce the cost of the Pell Grant Program should be driven by economic need and rational analysis rather than ideology. The magnitude of the Pell Grant cuts contained in the House budget proposal simply fails that test.”

The White House said the plan “cuts taxes for millionaires and special interests while placing a greater burden on seniors who depend on Medicare or live in nursing homes, families struggling with a child who has serious disabilities, workers who have lost their health care coverage, and students and their families who rely on Pell grants.”

Meanwhile, Congressional negotiators continued talks on FY 2011 spending in the face of a possible government shutdown this weekend. Discussions between House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and President Obama have brought no resolution so far.

In an effort to buy more time to complete a final bill for 2011, Republican leaders yesterday offered yet a week-long spending resolution that would make an additional $12 billion in cuts and fully fund the Department of Defense. Democrats have already declared this proposal to be unacceptable, and it is unlikely that they will accept this plan before the previous short-term resolution expires tomorrow.

Also see:

House Republicans Single Out Student Aid for Cuts in Plan to Slash 2012 Spending
The Chronicle of Higher Education

Scary: GOP’s 2012 Education Priorities
The Washington Post (free reg. req.)

The 3 Worst Assumptions in Paul Ryan's Budget
The Atlantic

Ryan’s $5.8 Trillion Cuts Put on Fast Track
The Hill

The GOP Path to Prosperity
The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)

Other ACE News

  • April 24, 2015

    Today's Headlines

    HEADLINES: Today's Top Higher Education News

    In today’s headlines, The Chronicle of Higher Education profiles Arizona State University President Michael Crow and explores ASU’s plan to offer a low-cost freshman year via MOOCs. In other news, Inside Higher Ed looks at the new book on campus...

  • Financial Aid

    April 22, 2015

    Campaign to Save Student Aid Launches

    The Student Aid Alliance launches a campaign to increase awareness and spur action against congressional threats to curtail federal student aid programs.

  • Innovative Practices

    April 22, 2015

    2015 Challenge Festival Scheduled for Next Month

    ACE is co-sponsoring the weeklong convening of tech visionaries, business leaders, government officials and promising entrepreneurs in education and other fields.

  • Institutional Capacity

    April 22, 2015

    Register Now for Advancing to the Presidency

    Advancing to the Presidency, a two-day workshop scheduled for Oct.19-20 in Alexandria, VA, helps senior admnistrators prepare for the transition to the next level.

  • Leading Internationalization

    April 20, 2015

    Deadline to Apply to the Institute for Leading Internationalization Is May 1

    The Institute for Leading Internationalization, designed for administrators who have a critical role in advancing internationalization on their campuses, is scheduled for June 7-9 in Alexandria, VA.


 Related Content