Federal Relations

February 27, 2015

Two Things We Learned this Week

1. Republicans are on a collision course over DoD spending: The long-brewing squabble between GOP defense hawks and fiscal hawks over defense spending is coming to a head, with the House Budget Committee planning to move a budget resolution that sets base defense spending next fiscal year $35 billion below what the Pentagon requested. But

February 24, 2015

New Plan for Homeland Security Appropriations Bill

For the fourth time, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was unable evening to call up a $39.7 billion House-passed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spending bill on Monday evening amid united Democratic opposition to provisions blocking recent executive action on immigration riders. Following the failure, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moved to consider a standalone bill narrowly targeting

Senate Considers Reducing Red Tape for Colleges

Today, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held a hearing on smarter federal regulations for colleges and universities. In November of 2013, Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Richard Burr (R-NC) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) appointed the Task Force on Federal Regulation of Higher Education. Sixteen college presidents and CEOs were charged with reviewing

February 23, 2015

This Week in Congress, February 23-27

The Department of Homeland Security will take stage front and center this week as Congress has only five days left to pass a continuing resolution to fund the agency through the remainder of the fiscal year. Elsewhere on the Hill, we’re paying attention to these committee hearings. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24 Senate Health, Education, Labor &

February 19, 2015

What We’re Reading, February 16

Here’s a selection of articles the Federal Relations team were particularly interested in this week. Picking Fights – Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has moved on from picking on labor unions and has picked a new nemesis: public universities! The fight is being viewed as his way of getting more notice before running for President in

February 17, 2015

Snow Day!

SNOW DAY! The federal government is closed today as DC deals with a storm that has impacted the east coast from Atlanta to Boston. Winter storm warnings were in effect for 17 states, and the District remains under a warning until noon today. The Washington, DC metro area is expected to enjoy a balmy 32 degree

February 13, 2015

What We’re Reading, February 9

Here’s a selection or articles Federal Relations is reading this week. Plane and Simple Motives – Obama has been using Air Force One as a means to engage more with Congressional leaders, and the Leaders have been using it as a means to shape Administration policy. Read more at Politico. Um, No…- Community colleges have

February 12, 2015

Ashton Carter Confirmed as Secretary of Defense

Today, the Senate on Thursday confirmed Ashton B. Carter to be the next defense secretary by a vote of 93 to 5. The installation of the new Pentagon chief comes on the same day that the President has asked Congress for the authority to formally authorize (and increase) military action by the US against the

February 11, 2015

House Approves their Version of ESEA

Today, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce marked up HR 5, the Student Success Act, a bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). There were 26 amendments offered. Only five amendments passed (including a Chairman’s substitute), 16 failed, 4 were withdrawn and one was ruled not germane to the bill by

February 10, 2015

House Passes NASA Reauthorization

Today, the House of Representatives yesterday approved HR 810, the NASA Authorization Act of 2015 as a noncontroversial measure under suspension of the rules. The bill is identical to the bipartisan bill that passed the House last year by a vote of 401-2 but failed to be considered in the Senate. It remains uncertain if

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