Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Congress approves remaining FY '12 spending bills

As it prepared to head home for the holidays, the 112th Congress finalized spending for the nine remaining appropriation bills that will fund the federal government between now and Sept. 30. The $912 billion omnibus bill passed both the House and Senate over the past weekend.

Overall, funding for research and education was at about the same levels as the previous year, with a few exceptions. Click here for an Association of American Universities chart that shows the final funding level for a number of federal programs of interest to U-M and the higher education community.

In addition to the chart, other budget decisions of note include:

National Institutes of Health

The legislation includes language to create the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and eliminate the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), transferring the various NCCR programs to other institutes and centers.

The bill also provides NCATS with up to $10 million for the Cures Acceleration Network.  Additionally, the agreement reduces the salary cap on extramural grants from Executive Level I ($199,700 in 2011) to Executive Level II ($179,700). 

Health professions

The agreement includes $233.7 million for the Title VII health professions programs, an $18.9 million decrease from fiscal year 2011; $15 million for the Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) which is $7 million less than FY '11, and $232.4 million for the Title VIII nursing education programs, a $10 million cut.

Department of Education programs

Title VI and Fulbright-Hays International Education programs are funded at $74.2 million ($66.7 million for domestic programs; $7.5 million for overseas programs), a decrease of $1.55 million. Earlier this year these programs saw a $50 million cut from FY '10 levels.

Pell Grants

To help address the shortfall in the Pell Grant program, reforms were made in the program’s eligibility rules. Some of the changes include reducing the lifetime limit on Pell Grants from 18 to 12 semesters; lowering the “Automatic Zero” Expected Family Contribution (EFC) to $23,000 from $30,000; and temporarily (for two years) eliminating the in-school subsidy on student loans for the six-month grace period following graduation.

For more details about any federal funding, contact the U-M Washington Office at 202-554-0578.