Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1)
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a tax reform proposal that addresses several aspects of the public and private sectors. Included in H.R. 1 are multiple provisions that would impact students, faculty, and higher education institutions. Namely, these provisions would repeal important tax credits that help curb the cost of higher education to ensure that the pipeline of nursing students and graduates are able to pursue and complete their education in an affordable and timely manner. AACN sent a letter to the Senate on November 29 commending the chamber for omitting these provisions, which originally appeared in the House’s version of H.R. 1, and urges the Senate to continue refraining them from any final tax package.
Graduate Student Savings Act of 2017 (S. 1379)
The Graduate Student Savings Act would allow funds paid to an individual to aid in the pursuit of graduate or postdoctoral study or research to be saved in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). more than 1 million young people in the U.S. the opportunity to have access to a path toward citizenship based on criteria including whether they are enrolled in an institution of higher education. The bill permits the funds to be considered compensation for purposes of current law provisions that limit annual deductible IRA contributions to the lesser of: (1) the deductible amount permitted under current law, or (2) the compensation includible in the individual's gross income for the year. It was introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and referred to the Committee on Finance on June 19, 2017. See a list of cosponsors.
Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act of 2017
The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act would allow more than 1 million young people in the U.S. the opportunity to have access to a path toward citizenship based on criteria including whether they are enrolled in an institution of higher education. This legislation will allow these individuals to continue their education and contribute to the economy. It was first introduced in 2001 and introduced again by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) on July 20, 2017.
Protecting Our Students by Terminating Graduate Rates that Add to Debt (POST-GRAD) Act of 2017 (H.R. 2526)
The POST-GRAD Act would reinstate access to subsidized federal student loans for graduate and professional students. It was introduced on May 18 by Representative Judy Chu (D-CA).
Federal Perkins Loan Program Extension Act of 2017 (H.R. 24382)
The Federal Perkins Loan Program Extension Act of 2017 would temporarily extend the Perkins program for two years, thus helping to ensure students are able to utilize this assistance while obtaining their education. It is estimated that extending Perkins would impact over 500,000 individuals. It was introduced on May 17 by Representatives Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Mark Pocan (D-WI), John Duncan (R-TN), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA).
AACN and Higher Education Organizations Send Letter Regarding Suspension of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool
AACN signs letter addressed to Secretary Betsy Devos of the U.S. Department of Education expressing concerns on the suspension of the Internal Revenue Service Data Retrieval Tool.
AACN and Health Professions Education Organizations Send Letter in Support of Graduate Student Federal Aid
AACN signs letter addressed to House Education and Workforce Committee, Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development urging that federal financial aid for graduate students is maintained and strengthened in a future Higher Education Act reauthorization.
The Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy Act (BRIDGE) Act (S. 128 and H.R. 496)
The Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy Act (BRIDGE) Act (S. 128 and H.R. 496) would provide provisional protected presence to qualified individuals who came to the United State as children, specifically those individuals who are eligible for the Department of Homeland Security’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program. It was introduced in the Senate on January 1, 2017 by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) and has six additional cosponsors. The bill was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary on January 12, 2017.
On January 12, 2017, it was introduced in the House by Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO-6) and Luis V. Gutiérrez (IL-04) and referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
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RAISE Family Caregivers Act of 2017
The Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act of 2017 (H.R. 3759) would allow the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to convene a Family Caregiving Advisory Council. The Secretary, in consultation with other heads of Federal agencies and the Advisory Council, would develop a Family Caregiving Strategy to identify actions that the government, communities, providers, and employers may take to recognize and support caregivers in a manner that reflects their diverse needs. On May 3, 2017, related bill S. 1028 was introduced in the Senate by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Michael Bennet (D-CO). Then, on September 13, 2017, Representative Gregg Harper (R-MS), Kathy Castor (D-FL), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), and Elise Stefanik (R-NY) introduced H.R. 3759 in the House. It had 110 additional cosponsors and passed the House Education and Workforce Committee on December 18. On January 8, 2018, H.R. 3759 passed out of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and the full Senate. The bill was signed into law by President Trump on January 23.
The Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2017 (S. 445)
The Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2017 (S. 445) would amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to allow nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, and clinical nurse specialists to certify home health services for Medicare patients. The bill was introduced in the Senate on February 27, 2017, by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ben Cardin (D-MD).
Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act (H.R. 959, S. 1109)
The Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act (H.R. 959, S. 1109) would reauthorize the Nursing Workforce Development programs (Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act) through FY 2022. Additionally, the legislation includes four technical changes. In particular, it identifies and defines clinical nurse specialists, highlights the clinical nurse leader role, and adds the definition of nurse-managed health clinics. It was introduced in the House on February 7, 2017, by Representatives David Joyce (R-OH), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Patrick Meehan (R-PA), and Kathy Castor (D-FL). H.R. 959 currently has 26 additional cosponsors. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health. On May 11, 2017, it was introduced in the Senate by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Richard Burr (R-NC), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Susan Collins (R-ME).
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