Joint National Committee for Languages National Council for Languages and International Studies
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FY18 Appropriations Update: House Appropriations Committee Approves FY18 Labor-H Bill
As we reported last week, the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-H), released its draft funding bill for FY2018. The bill passed out of full committee last week with a partisan vote of 28-22.
The subcommittee’s draft recommended elimination of Fulbright-Hays, the overseas component of the Department of Education’s International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) programs. Representative David Price (D-NC-4) introduced an amendment in full committee mark up to restore full funding of $7m to Fulbright-Hays. Subcommittee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-3) endorsed the amendment. Nevertheless, it was defeated on a partisan vote line, along with nearly every other amendment, save one offered by Labor-H subcommittee Chair Tom Cole (R-OK-4), and two others that dealt with bill language, not program funding. Though the amendment was defeated, Rep. Cole expressed personal sympathy with the issue, having been a Fulbright recipient himself, and he committed to working with Rep. Price on a path forward to restoring funding.
JNCL-NCLIS worked with its partners in Washington, the National Humanities Alliance, the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, and the Coalition for International Education, and others to support Rep. Price’s amendment and will continue to push for restored funding. More importantly, countless JNCL-NCLIS members and associates elsewhere in the United States sent messages, called, and otherwise personally contacted their members of Congress on very short notice to request support for the program. These messages will continue to matter as the FY2018 appropriations process continues.
While the bill would eliminate Fulbright-Hays, it does fund our other priorities in the Department of Education, such as the domestic programs of IFLE commonly known as Title VI, the Student Support and Academic Enrichment program in Title IV-A of ESSA, programs for English Language Learners in Title III of ESSA, and programs to support language immersions for Native American and Alaska Native youth. We will include a full report of the House funding appropriations bills in next week’s update.
The next step for the House Labor-H bill is a floor vote, which is likely to take place after the August recess. Before then, JNCL-NCLIS will be working on the House side with Reps. Price and Cole, along with other supporters, on restoring funding to Fulbright-Hays. In addition, we will be pressing the Senate to include full funding for Fulbright-Hays and all of our other Labor-H programs before the Senate Labor-H bill is due for release and mark up.
Thank you for your sustained advocacy, and please stay tuned for additional updates and action alerts.
With Best Wishes,