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Federal Relations

November 16, 2017

House Passes Tax Bill; Senate Action Awaits

Earlier this afternoon, the House passed H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, by a vote of 227 to 205. A total of 13 Republicans joined every Democrat in opposing the bill. Even as the House was considering its bill on the floor, the Senate Finance Committee has been debating its version of the measure since…


November 14, 2017

Third Travel Ban Partially Ok’ed by Federal Court

On Monday, a panel of judges in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals allowed a version of the Trump Administration’s third travel ban to take effect.  The proposed ban, which was originally slated to take effect last month, sought to bar many kinds of travelers from eight countries, including those from Chad, Iran, Libya, North…


November 13, 2017

New Nominee to Lead HHS Named

The Trump Administration announced today that it intends to nominate Alex Azar as the next Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).  Azar served at HHS under the George W. Bush Administration from 2001 to 2007, first as general counsel and deputy secretary.  He served in senior leadership roles at Lilly USA between 2007 and…


November 3, 2017

What We’re Reading This Week, October 30 to November 3

Here’s a selection of articles we’ve read this week. John Boehner Unchained – To outsiders, Boehner might just be the happiest man alive, a liberated retiree who spends his days swirling merlot and cackling at Speaker Paul Ryan’s misfortune. The truth is more complicated. At 67, Boehner is liberated—to say what he spent many years trying not to say;…


November 2, 2017

House Science Committee Chairman to Retire

In a statement released earlier today, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Science Committee, announced that he plans to retire at the end of this term. Currently in his 16th term, he has been a key player in a number of areas of critical interest to academia and higher education.  Among other issues,…


Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

The House Republican Leadership unveiled their much-awaited Tax Cuts and American Jobs act. At first glance, the measure would: cut the corporate tax rate to 20%; reduce the seven individual tax brackets into four; nearly double the standard deduction to $24K (married), $18,300 (head of household), and 12,200 (single); increase the child care tax credit…


October 30, 2017

This Week: CHIP and Taxes

The House and Senate are back this today for what will be the long slog until Thanksgiving. There’s a ton of to-do items on the agenda, including tax reform, raising the debt ceiling, FY 2018 appropriations, the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and the list goes on. The focus for the House this week…


October 26, 2017

House Agrees to Senate Budget and Tax Guidelines

Today, the House adopted the Senate-passed FY2018 budget resolution, H. Con. Res. 71, that would lay down the foundation for tax cuts.  While a budget resolution is traditionally used to set up the broad parameters for spending for a given fiscal year, this year’s resolution is being used as a vehicle to set up procedures to move…


October 20, 2017

Budget and Taxes

The Senate passed its FY 2018 budget by a vote of 51-49 on last night. The passage is a key step to Republican hopes of creating and passing any tax overhaul measure through Congress along party lines in the coming months. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) was the lone Republican dissenter. Behind the scenes, GOP leaders have already hammered…


October 17, 2017

Senate Begins Debate on Budget Resolution

The Senate has begun its floor debate on the FY2018 budget resolution. As mentioned previously, although usually used to determine parameters of federal spending, this year’s package contains a set of procedures that would enable the chamber to adopt a tax package by a simple majority. With all Democrats expected to oppose it, one Republican…


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