April 2023 Washington Update

Federal programs provide UF with long-term investments in our students and research. The UF Office of Federal Relations (UFFR) current federal priorities reflect our mission-critical needs: supporting our students and research programs, our health systems, and our unique agriculture and natural resources mission as a land grant university.

FY 2024 President’s Budget Request


On March 9, the White House released the FY2024 President’s Budget Request. The budget continues the Biden Administration’s previous priority commitments to diversity, addressing climate change and reducing student debt.  While the budget request is just a recommendation to Congress, it provides insight into federal agencies’ priorities and future directions, many of which can be advanced within existing authorities and without explicit congressional approval. 

See a comprehensive summary by APLU here.  Key Highlights include:   

  • $8,215 per Pell Grant award (an $820 increase over FY23), other student aid programs are held flat (SEOG, GANN, FWS) and as was Title VI International Programs. 
  • $21 billion in discretionary spending for CHIPS & Science-authorized activities including $1.2 billion for the Directorate of Technology Innovation and Partnerships (TIP)  
  • $48.26 billion for NIH (an increase of 1.7% over FY23)  
  • $2.5 billion for ARPA-H (a $1 billion increase over FY23)  
  • $27.2 billion for NASA (a 7.1% increase over FY23)  
  • $11.3 billion for NSF (an 18.6% increase over FY23)
  • $550 million for AFRI competitive agriculture research (21% increase over FY23), but the main capacity building programs (Hatch, Smith Lever, McIntire-Stennis) are held flat.


The national higher education associations develop annual appropriations requests and justifications for the primary federal agencies and budget lines that support higher education.  See APLU’s FY2024 appropriations priorities chart for their top priorities for the FY2024 budget. 


Next, Congress must draft and approve 12 appropriations bills for each federal agency before the October 1 start of the federal fiscal year or pass an extension until it can do so.  The process for FY2024 is complicated by a divided government, looming debt limit breech, and dramatically different budget priorities among the President, the House, and the Senate.  To reign in the federal deficit, House Republicans are seeking major cuts to non-defense discretionary spending through debt ceiling negotiations and have stated their desire to roll back funding to FY 2022 levels, requiring up to a $130 billion cut in discretionary spending. 


Winter and Spring 2023 Fly-in Season

Each Spring, higher education, student, scientific and professional societies descend on Washington for annual advocacy day events.  These ‘Fly-Ins’ are an integral part of the democratic process and allow groups to advocate for their views prior to congressional budget and policy activity.    To date, UF-affiliated groups have participated in over 15 “Fly-ins” on issues ranging from education, science, agriculture, athletics, and health policy.  

When requested, UFFR assists UF faculty, students, staff and administrators with their fly-in meeting preparation and documents.  Congressional and agency meetings provide an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of a federal issue, to engage members of Congress and staff about a federal problem or potential federal solution, as well as promote the excellent work and successes happening at UF. 


Committee Assignments in Place for 118th Congress

In March, Congress finished committee assignments, and set the rosters for who will steer policy and budgets for key agriculture, education, health, and science agencies for the next two years. There have been significant shifts in some key positions owing to retirements, shuffled assignments, and the Republican takeover of the House.  See here a list of Florida Committee assignments. 

Florida New Members:  

  • Aaron Bean (R-FL-4) was named to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Committee on Education and the Workforce. He also is serving as Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education.  
  • Maxwell Frost (D-FL-10) was named to the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability and Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
  • Laurel Lee(R-FL-15) was named to the House Committee on the Judiciary, Committee on Homeland Security and House Committee on House Administration.
  • Anna Paulina Luna(R-FL-13) was named to the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability and Committee on Natural Resources.
  • Cory Mills (R-FL-07) was named to the House Committee on Armed Services and

Committee on Foreign Affairs.

  • Jared Moskowitz (D-FL-23) was named to the House Committee on Oversight and Accountabilityand Committee on Foreign Affairs.   



Gator Caucus Roster


The Gator Caucus is comprised of Florida lawmakers who are legislative advocates for the University of Florida. These legislators have either graduated from the University of Florida, have immediate family members who are students or alums of the University of Florida, or represent legislative districts in proximity to the University of Florida.  


House of Representatives 

Rep. Aaron Bean (R-FL-4) (Rep UF Health JAX)

Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-12) (Alum) 

Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL-03) (District Rep) 

Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL-02) (Rep UF Health Shands) 

Rep. Laurel Lee (R-FL-15) (Alum)

Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL-17) (Alum) 

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-23) (Alum) 

Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL-04) (Rep UF Health JAX) 


U.S. Senate 

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) (Alum)