House Passes America COMPETES Act
February 07, 2022

Final bill would create short-term Pell Grants for qualified programs and unit record reporting system for postsecondary data

The House on Friday voted 222-210 to approve the America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing, Pre-Eminence in Technology, and Economic Strength (COMPETES) Act of 2022, with one Republican crossing party lines to vote for it and one Democrat voting against it.

The bill authorizes increased funding for the National Science Foundation and other research priorities, and aims to strengthen STEM education programs, boost American economic competitiveness, and enhance research security. It also includes provisions related to Section 117 foreign gift and contract reporting requirements, and a new Section 124 meant to capture foreign gift and contracts to individual faculty and staff (click here for a summary of all the higher education provisions).

The final measure includes an amendment from Reps. Andy Levin (D-MI) and Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) that would create short-term Pell Grants for qualified programs and also folds in the College Transparency Act, which would create a new unit record reporting system for postsecondary data.

The bill includes some immigration provisions that would be helpful for international students and scholars, including an exemption from the current green card caps for Ph.D. holders with STEM degrees from U.S. or foreign institutions, including health professions and related fields.

The legislation is the House response to the Senate’s bipartisan U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, which was approved last June. The House and Senate will now begin to reconcile the two very different bills with a goal to move a final legislative package soon.

For more on Congress's efforts on science and security, watch Sen. Mark Warner’s opening remarks to the ACE2022 session “Research Security and Foreign Influence at U.S. Universities” below: