SPECIAL EDITION: Congress Recesses With Payroll Tax Extension, Other Matters Unaddressed
Following last week's agreement on the FY 2012 budget, there was a glimmer of hope that the House and Senate would agree on an extension of the payroll tax cut, unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed and the Medicare reimbursement fix.
The Senate passed a two-month extension by a bipartisan vote and adjourned for the year. However, the House GOP declined to consider that bill and demanded the Senate return to negotiate a one-year extension. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has declined to call his chamber back into session, and the House recessed last night. At this time, it is unclear if any of these issues will be addressed before the end of the calendar year.
This will have a real impact beginning Jan. 1—most families will see a reduction of approximately $1,000 in their take-home pay for the year, long-term unemployment benefits will cease immediately, and reimbursement rates for doctors providing services to Medicare patients will drop by 30 percent.
Read more in The New York Times and The Washington Post.
Unfortunately, these are just the latest additions to a long list of challenges we've all faced this year. Perhaps never before has it been so apparent that what happens in Washington has a real impact on colleges and universities. These federal issues will be a focal point of many sessions at ACE's 94th Annual Meeting March 10-13, 2012, and I encourage you to make plans now to join us in Los Angeles.
And finally, I am hopeful that as your semester comes to an end and your holiday break begins, you will have an opportunity to relax and recharge. Please know that ACE looks forward to continuing our work with you next year and that we are grateful for all you do for your students and your campus community every day.
My best wishes to you for a happy, healthy and fulfilling new year.
Molly Corbett Broad
President of ACE