Federal Relations

Student Loans and Transportation Research

The House and Senate both will take action today on the conference agreement to HR 4348, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The agreement reauthorizes federal highway, transit, and other surface transportation programs through September 30, 2014, at current funding levels with inflationary increases for certain programs. It consolidates or

SCOTUS Upholds “Individual Mandate”

The Supreme Court has upheld the “individual mandate” requiring Americans to carry health insurance. The mandate is a key element of the Affordable Care Act.  More details to come.

Deal Reached on Student Loans

On Tuesday, Senate leaders announced that they reached a deal to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, but they are still determining whether to attach that “deal” to a measure that would reauthorize highway programs, which is still being negotiated. Congress must take action on both issues –

Congress Requests Information on Implementation of the Sequester

Today, the House Budget Committee mark up Republican leaders’ legislation, similar to bipartisan language added last week to the Senate farm bill that seeks more information about the automatic budget cuts.  The action comes after several attempts by lawmakers to get more details from the administration about how the roughly $109 billion sequester will take

Very Big Week in Congress

Today begins a very big week in Congress that could have huge consequences for the remainder of the calendar year.  First, the Supreme Court is expected to hand down its decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a ruling that will likely dominate the airwaves this week.  Second, Congress must deal with two critical legislative

Senate Bill Requires Reports on Impact of Sequestration

Yesterday, the Senate passed a five-year reauthorization of farm legislation (S 3240) that includes a bipartisan amendment requiring detailed reports on the effects of the pending budget sequestration on both defense and nondefense discretionary spending. The amendment would require three reports: one from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on the overall budget figures

Odds and Ends for the Week

Student Loan Interest Rates:  Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are getting close to a deal to prevent student loan rates from doubling on July 1st, from 3.4 percent up to 6.8 percent.  A deal could be announced as soon as today, although early next week seems more likely. The talks have

Commerce Secretary to Resign

Commerce Secretary John Bryson informed the department’s employees Thursday that he has given the president a letter of resignation. “I have come to the conclusion that I need to step down to prevent distractions from this critical mission,” Bryson said. Bryson had been on a medical leave of absence since June 11, following a seizure

SCOTUS to Rule on ACA

The Supreme Court is set to release decisions this morning starting at 10:00am eastern time (right now!). The court still has 10 opinions to release, the health care law decision among them.  While it could come today, I’m guessing they’ll wait until next week.  While the decision won’t have a direct impact on UW, it

Energy Production Legislation Debated

This morning the House will continue debate on the Strategic Energy Production Act of 2012 (HR 4480), which seeks to increase domestic oil and gas production and reduce regulation of the energy industry in order to reduce energy prices and boost economic growth. This measure is the result of compiling the text of 7 separate

Next Page »