Winter 2023
Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, known as the Omnibus, was signed into law by President Biden on December 29, 2022. It funds the federal government for all of Fiscal Year 2023. The legislation included increases for many of our priorities, including:

AFRI (the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative: $455 million, an increase of $10 million

VMLRP (the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program): $10 million, an increase of $500,000

VSGP (the Veterinary Services Grant Program): $4 million, an increase of $500,000

Pell Grants – Increased by $500, now totaling $7395

NIH (the National Institutes of Health): $47,459 billion, an increase of $2.5 billion

The APLU Funding Priorities Chart can be viewed here.
One Health Framework

As part of the year end Omnibus Appropriations bill that was signed into law on Dec. 29, 2022, Congress also included legislation that mandates the creation of a One Health Framework. The bill language was based on the Advancing Emergency Preparedness Through One Health Act (HR 2061/S 681) that AAVMC has long supported.

AAVMC worked closely with the Clinical and Translational Science Award One Health Alliance COHA to help support the inclusion of the One Health language, first in the Pandemic Preparedness legislation and then in the omnibus last year.

This legislation directed several federal agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture to work with all other federal agencies and departments to develop a One Health Framework that is designed to foster collaboration on preventing, detecting, controlling and responding to zoonotic diseases. This coordination is crucial in managing outbreaks of everything from avian influenza to COVID. The specific language can be found here.

One Health is a concept that recognizes human, animal and environmental health as interconnected. This collaborative approach helps to promote better overall protective outcomes in healthcare.
Changes to Student Loan Repayments

Additionally, the final Omnibus package includes the text of legislation that makes sweeping changes to retirement systems. This legislation was called the Secure 2.0 Act. One of the provisions of this bill allows employers to match contributions into retirement accounts for employees making student loan payments, even when the employee is not contributing to his or her retirement accounts. This provision could potentially assist borrowers in building their retirement accounts.
Student Loans - Income Driven Repayment
On January 10, the US Department of Education released new proposed rules designed to reduce the costs of student loans for lower and middle income borrowers. The rules would make significant changes to Income Driven Repayment (IDR) programs.

These would include: Revisions to REPAYE. The proposed rule would change repayment rates for certain borrowers on their undergraduate loans from 10% of their monthly discretionary income to only 5% of that income monthly. In addition, under the draft regulations, borrowers with an income below $30,500 per year would not be required to make monthly payments on their loans. 

  • Borrowers who have only graduate school related loans would still pay10%. 

  • Borrowers who have loans for both graduate and undergraduate studies would pay between 5% and 10%.

This calculation is based upon a weighted average calculated from the share of their original loan balances borrowed for undergraduate versus graduate study. One of the benefits would be in preventing unpaid interest from accruing. Under the proposed plan, a borrower would continue to have their monthly payment first applied to interest, but if it is not sufficient to cover that amount, any remaining interest would not be charged. 

The aligning of forbearance and deferment credits for IDR forgiveness with the credits for PSLF was announced in the final regulations on November 1st. This action simplifies IDR
by phasing out other IDR plans.

A fact sheet on the proposed changes can be found here.
On the Hill
After 15 votes and almost a full week’s delay, the House finally elected Rep. Kevin McCarthy as Speaker for the 118th Congress. While Democrats control the Senate and the White House, Republicans have a four-vote majority in the House of Representatives.

House Republicans released their list of Committee Chairs, which can be found here. Democrats are still finalizing appointments for Ranking Members in the House.

Farm Bill 2023: Research Program Hearing

On December 6, Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) Chair of the US Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and John Boozman (R-AR) held a hearing entitled “Farm Bill 2023: Research Programs.” A video and transcript of the hearing can be found here. During the hearing, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) specifically brought up the issue of veterinary shortages in rural areas. Information on her remarks can be found here.
NBAF Commissioned

The National Bio and Agro Defense Facility, known as NBAF, has completed it's commissioning process, as of Dec. 20th. NBAF has long been a priority program for AAVMC and our members. More information about this milestone can be found here.
AAVMC Government Affairs

Please contact: Kevin Cain, Director for Government Affairs at or 202-371-9195 (ext. 117) with any comments, questions and suggestions about our program.
AAVMC Newsletters

The AAVMC is working hard to create a culture of diversity and inclusion in every dimension of academic veterinary medicine. To foster this goal, the photographs and illustrations which are used in our communications programs are aspirational, and do not necessarily reflect the levels of diversity and inclusion that currently exist.

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