The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote tomorrow on its FY 2018 budget resolution, which is central to Republican efforts to advance tax reform legislation.
By passing a budget resolution, Congress would unlock a legislative tool known as reconciliation, which Republicans could use to move tax legislation through the Senate with a simple majority of 51 votes. The GOP controls the chamber by a 52-48 margin and would need 60 votes for passage without reconciliation.
Included in this effort at reconciliation is more than $200 billion in spending cuts over the next 10 years, approximately $20 billion of which are directed at programs overseen by the House Education and the Workforce Committee.
ACE and 19 other higher education associations sent a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) today, expressing concern with the provisions in the bill that “would unnecessarily cut funding to the programs that educate our workforce and drive scientific and technological innovation.” Significantly, the groups write, the resolution will undercut Congress’ recent strengthening of the Pell Grant program.
A Senate budget resolution released Sept. 29 by Republican leaders in that GOP-controlled chamber left out the reconciliation language—and thus the proposed cuts—included in the House budget blueprint. It is in the midst of being marked up by the Senate Budget Committee. However, before tax-writing committees in either chamber can begin drafting legislation, the House and Senate will need to resolve differences in their budget bills.