February 4, 2014




This Monday kicked off, in earnest, the appropriations process for the FY16 fiscal year due to begin this October.   Below are some initial highlights of major initiatives newly announced, or programs relative to our federal priorities.  Although Congress will have its own say in the matter (many will not survive), the request to Congress is instructive in showing agency interest/leadership on areas that are current priorities for FIU. 


We’re still reviewing the FY16 requests in some key areas (this can be a bit of a rabbit hole exercise) but wanted to distribute this initial snapshot for your information.   This week, our team attended budget briefings or scanned agency materials for the following agencies/areas:  ( Some key links are also included at the conclusion).




As always, available to help answer any questions,


FIU Federal Relations

Carlos Becerra

Pamela Pamelá







EDUCATION: $70.7 billion (5.4% increase)

  • Pell Grants/Financial AId:
    • INCREASE maximum Pell Grant to $5,915, (increase of $140, now 5,775) 
    • assure that the Pell Grant maximum continues to rise yearly with inflation beyond 2017 (30B over 10 years)
    • more stringent requirements on the academic progress of recipients as well as limits on Pell money that goes to students who repeatedly enroll in programs without earning any academic credits. "i.e. requirements could, for example, require students to complete and pass an increasing percentage of their total course load as they progress in their academic program."
    • called on Congress to fully expand the Pell Grant program to students without a high school diploma through the “ability to benefit” program. Earlier this year, Congress restored only part of the funding for that pathway.
    • improve the coordination between American Opportunity Tax Credit and Pell grants so that Pell does not count against students for eligibility for the refundable portion of the tax credit
    • streamline and scale back some of the benefits associated with federal income-based repayment programs. The changes would result in $14.6 billion in savings over the next 10 years that the administration is proposing be redirected to the Pell Grant program.


  • FAFSA: elimination of 30 questions related to non-IRS collected information on assets and investments.
  • Federal Work Study-Level Funding  (FWS) ($989 million)
  • Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants ($733 million)
  • Perkins Loan:  
    • $8.5 billion in new loan volume annually (8.5X current Perkins volume)
    • an overhaul that would yield $7.1 billion in cost savings that it wants to use for Pell Grants.
    • calls for the government, not colleges, to disburse loans directly to students,
    • tie colleges’ eligibility for the program to certain student outcome metrics. revising current funding formulas to reward institutions that enroll and graduate higher numbers of Pell-eligible students and offer affordable and quality educations.
    • A version of this program was first proposed by the administration in 2010.
  • Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need- LEVEL, 29.2 M
  • NEW: College Opportunity and Graduation Bonus 7B: As requested in FY2015 budget request to reward colleges that enroll and graduate low-income students and encourage all colleges to improve performance.
  • Competitive Grants:
    • INCREASE: First in the World Grants: $200 million (support and test promising institutional innovations and practices that improve educational outcomes in college), a $140 mil increase
    • INCREASE: Investing in Innovation (I-3) Program: $300 mil, increase of $180 mil
    • INCREASE: Federal TRIO programs by $20 million (up to $860 million) and provide, and GEAR UP ($301 million) 
    • INCREASE: International Education (Title VI) request at $76 million- Increase of 4M
    • INCREASE:  Hispanic-Serving Institutions grant 210M 4.3% incr.
    • GEAR UP:  Level Funding
    • $30 million for Government Performance and Results Act/HEA Program evaluation
      • Institute of Education Sciences (IES) activities:  increase of 101M ($675 million)
      • Community College: new tuition-free community college program called America's College Promise. 
      • FOR PROFITS: including Department of Defense Tuition Assistance and Department of Veterans Affairs GI bill benefits as part of the federal funds portion of the 90/10 calculation in the administration of federal financial aid at for-profit institutions. Currently, such benefits are not included as federal funds.


  • College Ratings: 0 for the upcoming year; ratings system will move ahead in the coming months, officials said, but it will be funded out of existing money in the department’s budget. 


  • INCREASE: 31 percent increase in the budget of its Office for Civil Rights, to deal, in part, with more federal investigations of colleges accused of mishandling sexual assault cases.



7.6B increase in federal R+D

+3B incr in non-defense discretionary

+4B incr in defense

66.9B:  Basic Research



  • 1.2B     NEW: Combating Antibiotic-resistant Bacteria 
  • 215M   NEW: Precision Medicine (builds off of the work at VA)
  • 2.9 B   Advanced Manufacturing Initiatives, to support up to 45 institutes NSF/DOD/Energy/Commerce;  350M to new institutes




    • I-3:  180M Increase                to develop and test effective practices and provide better information to States and districts on what works in K-12 education, including a priority for strategies that improve student success in STEM subjects.
    • New Generation High Schools: 125M      to personalize learning for students, strengthen relationships with business and post-secondary partners, and link student work to real- world expectations and experiences that reflect college and careers, to better prepare students for their future.
  • New  100M Teacher/Principal Pathways program                        $100 million of which would support high-quality teacher preparation with a priority for STEM teacher preparation programs that recruit and train effective STEM teachers for high-need schools.
  • $100 million in the Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) STEM and Articulation program
    • NEW: 50M ARPA-ED $10 million at ED for school districts and researchers to partner to develop and test “non-cognitive” interventions that contribute to student success, such as academic perseverance, self-control, and social and emotional skills.
    • School Improvement Grants: 556M               $556 million to expand the use of evidence-based approaches to turning around our lowest-performing schools;


  • NSF:  (Education overall: 96M increase)
    • INCREASE: Math and Science Partnerships—Increase of 50M to 400M-- the enhanced program would focus on strategic partnerships of school districts, businesses, universities, museums, Federal agencies, and other educational entities to transform how a district delivers STEM education so that students are engaged in learning experiences that inspire curiosity, that help connect students to the real-world experiences of STEM professionals, that give students project-based making and learning experiences, and that give students, especially girls and under-represented minorities, the access and supports to succeed in rigorous math and science coursework. The expanded Math and Science Partnership program will also create a national, online community of STEM educators in a STEM Virtual Learning Network.


    • STEM-Computer Science: 60M $60 million for NSF’s STEM + Computing Partnerships program, which specifically focuses on support for computer science education with teacher training, new curriculum, and partnership efforts.
    • Improve Undergraduate STEM Education—135M (30M New)
    • NEW: INCLUDES 15M program that will develop and test strategies and build partnerships to enhance the participation of those who have been traditionally underserved or underrepresented in STEM fields.
    • $78 million for NSF’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program


  • NIH: $15 million for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to invest in the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) program, leveraging the expertise of the biomedical research community to support innovative curriculum in K-12 schools


  • Energy:
    • Refocused: Fellowships – Exit Scale Computing 10M Computational Sciences Graduate Fellowship (CSGF) at the Department of Energy (DOE) to expand the program and strengthen connections to both relevant DOE facilities and to the challenges of exascale computing.
  • DOD: NEW: STEM Partnerships: Military Families 3M



  • US Climate Research Interagency Group: 2.7B




  • USGS:  $1.2 billion ($150 million increase)
    • Water Resources Research Act at $222 million (increase of $12 million)
    • INCREASE: funding the Cooperative Research Units (CRU) program at $19.992 million, an increase of $2.621 million over the FY15
  • NEW: $32 million above the FY 2015 for science to support climate resilience and adaptation. 
    • +$6.8 million increase in science for adaptation and resilience planning,
    • +$2.3 million for the USGS to provide interagency coordination of regional climate science activities across the Nation,
    • +$8.7 million to support biological carbon sequestration, and
    • +$11 million for the USGS to support the community resilience toolkit, which is a web-based clearinghouse of data, tools, shared applications, and best practices for resource managers, decision-makers, and the public.  
  • Sustainable Water Management: 14.5M New
  • $3.2 million increase for science to understand and respond to drought,
  • $4 million increase for water use information and research
  • $2.5 million increase to study ecological water flows,
  • $1.3 million increase for stream flow information, and a
  • $1.0 million increase to advance the National Groundwater Monitoring Network.

Natural Hazard Science:  $6.6 million NEW

Landscape resources:  15.6M New

  • $5.1 million NEW to support coastal resilience to hazards and adaptation to long-term change from sea-level rise and coastal erosion.
  • Also, “continue to support restoration of other priority ecosystems, such as Chesapeake Bay, Everglades, Great Lakes, California Bay Delta, and the Gulf”


  • Army Corps:
    • $61 mil for Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) (approximately 5% of total in this account & 1% of the total amount in the civil works program)
    • +$8 million for work under CERP.  (incl. $5 million for other ecosystem restoration work by the Corps in South Florida, including the Everglades ecosystem)
    • $128 million for ecosystem restoration work in South Florida, of which $69 million is for CERP



•          INCREASE: Science and Technology (S&T) budget request is $8.6 billion for

FY2016, (+ $452 million)


INCREASE: $1.947 billion for Earth Science, an increase of $174.8 million over FY2015


            DOT:    1M – Assist state and local transportation planners with resilience plans


NIST:    INCREASE: 10M Disaster Resilient Buildings and Infrastructure $10M --develop science-based building codes and standards to improve disaster resilience of communities impacted by natural and man-made hazards. More specifics below in NIST Section.


NOAA: +52M

  • INCREASE: of $45M for the Regional Coastal Resilience Grants program, a competitive grants program, initiated in FY15 that will reduce the risks and impacts associated with extreme weather events, climate hazards, and changing ocean conditions on a regional scale.  Would allow a greater number, and more geographically diverse set, of grantees – including states, territories, tribes, local governments, and other public and private entities – to collaborate on ways to plan for and improve coastal community resilience.
  • INCREASE: of $5M to provide products and services that assist coastal communities with incorporating green infrastructure (e.g., natural systems, such as dunes and marsh grasses) into hazard mitigation, resilient coastal development, and post-event rebuilding. This proposal focuses on mitigation of long-term coastal inundation risks related to climate and other changes.
  • INCREASE OF $5M improve understanding of the ecological connections between the fisheries and protected species that occur offshore and the coastal habitats that are most subject to human disturbance.
  • Creating an environment for a services to provide improved flood forecasts and inundation mapping. This request builds on FY15 initiative to develop and test new centralized national hydrologic modeling and forecast capabilities at the National Water Center (NWC) to provide nationally consistent flash flood services and dynamic flood inundation maps that illustrate the predicted locations and depths of urban flooding.
  • 1.6M to improve the accuracy of warnings, extend lead times, and enhance decision support services for high impact weather, like tornados and flash floods.  funding will accelerate the operational implementation of a prototype Warn-on-Forecast modeling system for severe weather and will allow NOAA to develop better warning tools for NWS forecasters and the public.
  • An increase of 0 FTE and $9,000 to recapitalize NOAA’s research development (R&D) high performance computing (HPC) infrastructure and to provide additional capacity to support regional sea level rise modeling.
  • INCREASE: $4M to expand competitive research grants that address coastal and ocean issues
  • including harmful algal blooms, hypoxia, and coastal ecosystem assessment.


  • REDUCE: $1,3M to sanctuary operations, including reductions to scalable activities such as the level of charter vessel use and supplies, among other non-essential operations activities
  • DECREASE:: $11,2M to the Office of Education, including -$4M to terminate NOAA’s Competitive Education Grant Program and -$7,200,000M to terminate the Bay-Watershed Education and Training Program.



NSF:  Overall research increase of 252M  (5%increase)

Critical/New initiatives:

  • BRAIN initiative investments:  144M – Ongoing

innovative technologies, tools and instrumentation, computational infrastructure, theory, and models to understand the brain; understanding of relationships between activity, cognitive processes, and exploration of links between environment, and brain function; and training for generation of neuroscientists and neuroengineers.


  • NEW: Food, Energy, Water Nexus:  INFEWS   75M  Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS) is an NSF- wide investment that aims to understand, design, and model the interconnected food, energy, and water system through an interdisciplinary research effort that incorporates all areas of science and engineering and addresses the natural, social, and human-built factors involved.


  • NEW: Risk and Resilience: Critical Resilience Interdependent Infrastructures Systems and Processes  58M-  Critical Resilient Interdependent Infrastructure Systems and Processes- NEW 58M , the need for the resilient and reliable infrastructure that is critical to U.S. economic competitiveness and national security. Prediction of and Resilience against Extreme Events, which aims to enhance the understanding and prediction of, as well as resilience and sustainable responses to, extreme events and geohazards, as well as their impact on natural and human systems.


  • STEM Ed:  INCLUDES: Inclusion Across the Nation of Communities of learners the development of a set of new scalable concepts that will provide focus for collaborative action. Our investments are intended to produce rapid progress on changing the balance of diversity in S&E, have significant national impact for the participation of underrepresented groups, stimulate the community, forge new partnerships, and catalyze new approaches.


Overall NSF:

  • $257 million for multidisciplinary research targeted at new materials, smart systems, advanced manufacturing technologies, and robotics technologies;
  • $30 million for the Innovation Corps (i-Corp) program;
  • $1.2 billion for STEM education activities. 
  • $377 million in clean energy investments to support research and education in alternative forms of energy.


The Administration’s proposal would fund the NSF accounts as follows.

  • $6.186 billion for Research and Related, an increase of $253 million or 4.3% over FY2015
  • $963 million for Education and Human Resources, an increase of $96.57 million or 11.2% over FY2015
  • $200.3 million for Major Research Equipment and Facilities, a decrease of $450,000 or 0.2% below FY2015



  • Refocusing a Department of Energy Program to Prepare Graduate Students for High- Priority STEM Fields: The President’s 2016 Budget includes $10 million for the
  • INCREASE: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) $809 million increase


USDA:  +450M for AFRI



  • DOD:  $69.976 billion (+9.8 percent change) 
    • Basic Research (6.1)  (-8.3 percent reduction)
    • Applied (6.2) : $4.713 billion (+12.1 percent incr)
  • 43M  Cyber Technologies – Civilian
  • DARPA: 3.4% increase 3B



  • Mental Health: $58 million, to total $185 million, within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for the President’s Now is the Time initiative to make sure students and young adults get treatment for mental health issues
  • Native American Health Care: increase of $461 million over the 2015 Enacted level, which will expand both direct health care services and the Purchased/Referred Care program, and allow IHS to make significant progress on construction of health care clinics and sanitation facilities across Indian Country
  • Global Health: The Budget includes an increase of $12 million to expand the Global Health Security Agenda and increases funding to eradicate polio.
    • $100 million for the National Institutes of Health to expand research on preventing, treating, and finding a cure for HIV/AIDS, and
    • $12.6 million for domestic HIV/AIDS prevention within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to further implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

NIH: 1B Increase

  • 10,303 new and competing Research Project Grants (RPGs) (1,227 above FY15)
    • Total RPGs are expected to be at 35,447
    • applicant success rate is estimated at 19.3%, a welcome improvement over the FY2015 estimated success rate of 17.2%.
  • 82B Pollinator Health Initiative
  • 135M for Brain Initiative
  • NEW: Precision Medicine Initiative, ( $200 million to NIH and the remainder for FDA, and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). focus on an emerging field of medicine which relies on patient-powered research and targeted treatments for diseases like cancer and diabetes. 
    • NIH proposes establishing a national research cohort of one million or more individuals, comprised mostly of those who have already participated in clinical research studies and agree to share their genetic information. A fact sheet with further information on this initiative can be found here.


  • NEW: $50M in increased for Alzheimer’s research for a total of $638 million.




  • Title VII Health Professions – 238M (6.7% decrease)
  • Title VII Public Health and Preventative Medicine receives $17 million, (19% decrease)
  • Eliminates, Title VII Health Careers Opportunity Program (-$14 M)
  • Eliminates  Title VII Area Health Education Centers program.
  • Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development programs,--$232 million level funding
  • NEW: Health Workforce Diversity Program new program that promotes diversity in the health workforce-- $14 million



  • Foreign assistance funding 33.7B (both agencies total), includes:
    • Climate funding $305.8M
    • $8.2B for human health
    • USAID: Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance/Intl disaster assistance $1.74B (decrease of $154,000)
    • Dev assistance account $3B (global development lab, democracy education and other environment programs)
      • Global development lab (Dev Assistance account) 160M- INCREASE of 15M
    • International Narcotics and Law Enforcement- Enduring:  Increase to 967M (support country and global programs critical to combat transnational crime, disrupt illicit trafficking, and assist partner nations to build their capacities to extend their reach of justice under the rule of law.)
    • Democracy, Human Rights and Labor  $60M (from Global Programs)
    • Cuba:  USAID:  20M— LEVEL  support humanitarian assistance to victims of political repression and their families, strengthen independent Cuban civil society, and freedom of expression.
    • HAITI:  USAID increase to 120M
    • Colombia:  Level
    • Educational and Cultural Exchange Programs request $ 623 mil (from $589.9 mil)
      • Global Academic Exchanges      64.4M            10.52% Increase



  • Regional Innovation Strategies- $25 million - to promote economic development projects that spur entrepreneurship and innovation at the regional level.
  • Partnership Planning- $39.5 million to support local organizations (Economic Development Districts, Indian Tribes, and other eligible recipients) with their long-term economic development planning efforts and outreach.
  • INCREASE: Economic Adjustment Assistance- $53 million (8M Increase) for Economic Adjustment Assistance for critical investments such as economic diversification planning, and implementation, technical assistance, and access to business start-up facilities and equipment.



  • 139M to continue resource network (including 63 SBDCS)



  • INCREASE: $150 million for the newly authorized National Network for Manufacturing Innovation with the intention to launch 7 more institutes in 2016, building on the current 9 institutes, and calls for the full investment required to complete a national network of 45 manufacturing institutes.
  • INCREASE: 10M Disaster Resilient Buildings and Infrastructure $10M --develop science-based building codes and standards to improve disaster resilience of communities impacted by natural and man-made hazards. Specifically, it would fund efforts to develop and accelerate the adoption and use of the underlying measurement science to improve predictive capabilities, and improve codes, standards and practices for cost-effective improvement of disaster resilience, including life-safety and reduction of property loss, due to natural and man-made hazards and helping to improve the nation’s resilience to the impacts of climate change
  • INCREASE: 5M: Smart Cities Cyber Physical Systems  The request would allow NIST to develop the measurement science foundations for advanced smart city technologies that improve the livability, workability, safety, and resilience of communities across the Nation.


TRANSPORTATION: Request $94.7 billion FY2016 (increase from 91 billion)

  • $478 billion for six-year: GROW (Generating Renewal, Opportunity, and Work with Accelerated Mobility, Efficiency, and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities throughout America)
  • INCREASE: $1.25 billion / year for TIGER Grant program (750M increase)
  • Bridges: $29.4 billion 6 year Critical Immediate Safety Investments Program to provide targeted infrastructure investments towards bridges and roads that are deficient and pose a safety risk.
  • NEW: $500 million:  Fixing and Accelerating Surface Transportation (FAST): for a new competitive grant program that will encourage innovative solutions to our most pressing transportation challenges. State and local partners will be evaluated on their willingness to commit to performance improvements in important areas such as safety or congestion management
  • 1M Resilience: to provide assistance with incorporating resilience planning into state, local transportation plans.
  • UTC: 82Million
  • INCREASE: Research, Technology and Education Programs (Intelligent Transportation Systems & Automation Research Acceleration) $496 mil ($400 mil 2015)
    New Coordinated Cross-Department research, RITA: 14.6M



TREASURY/TAXES:  Tax and other Policy Proposals


•    American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), permanently extend

  • improve the coordination between AOTC and Pell grants so that Pell does not count against students for eligibility for the refundable portion of the tax credit
  • increase refundability by $500 to $1500,
  • extend availability from four years to five, and create a part-time AOTC credit for students attending less than half-time.


•    eliminate the lifetime learning credit and the student loan interest deduction. (Currently, the lifetime learning credit has no cap on the number of years it is available for students and thus is of significant benefit to graduate students.)


  • the budget proposal would eliminate the tax consequences of loan forgiveness under income-driven repayment options.  Presently, borrowers under the Pay-As-You-Earn plan can have the remaining balance of their loans forgiven after 20 years of payments.  However, the total sum forgiven is treated as taxable income.


•    The budget proposal would eliminate the tax deduction that allows donors to deduct 80% of contributions to colleges and universities that donors make in exchange for special rights to purchase seating at athletic events. 


•    Additionally, the proposal would reduce the value of charitable and other itemized deductions to 28% for taxpayers in the 33, 35, and 39.6 % tax brackets.


•    The budget proposal would require institutions of higher education to report the amounts students paid, rather than the amounts they are billed on Form 1098-T.  Presently, universities may report either amounts paid or billed.  The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) has previously flagged this issue as being of significant concern as reporting amounts paid rather than billed would raise compliance challenges.


The President’s budget would also allow the Secretary of Treasury to disclose identifying information to the Department of Education in the case of late-stage delinquency of loans so that the Department of Education could inform borrowers about options to avoid default.



National Institutes of Health:

National Science Foundation:

Department of Energy:

Department of Agriculture:

Department of Defense:

Department of Homeland Security:


Department of Education:




Department of Transportation:

Department of Veterans Affairs:

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy R&D fact sheet:



Carlos A. Becerra

Director of Federal Relations

Florida International University

202-624-1498    C: 305-439-8158

t: fiudc