Federal Relations

Budget


November 30, 2010

US Senate to Vote on Earmark Ban

The Senate postponed until this morning a vote on a measure that would ban all earmarks for the next three years. The chamber will vote on an amendment to food safety legislation proposed by Senator Coburn (R-OK) that would create a Senate rule effectively prohibiting the chamber from considering any measure containing earmarks.  Coburn’s amendment…


November 24, 2010

First Week of Lame Duck Session Answers Little

Members of Congress returned to DC last week for a lame-duck session intended to address pressing issues, namely the need to finish the fiscal year 2011 appropriations process as well as to extend various tax cut provisions that expire at the end of the calendar year. Members spent the first week of the session largely…


November 4, 2010

Post-Election Legislative Agenda Uncertain

The mid-term congressional elections that took place on Tuesday, resulting in a Republican House majority and diminished Democratic Senate majority, will have a significant impact on issues of concern to the higher education community (FY11 appropriations, DREAM Act, COMPETES Act, tax policy) that were previously slated for consideration during the coming “lame-duck” session. The current…


October 27, 2010

Pell Grant Funding on Post-Election Agenda

On November 15th, it is expected that Members of Congress will return to DC to address unfinished legislation before adjourning for the year. Several items of note are likely to considered, including additional funding to fill a shortfall in the Pell grant program. The anticipated $5.7 billion shortfall was created by increased student eligibility for…


October 11, 2010

Associations Convey FY 12 Higher Ed Priorities to OMB

This week two higher education associations – the Association of American Universities (AAU), and the Association for Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) sent collaborative letters to the Obama Administration asking the White House to make higher education a priority in their FY 12 budget. The first letter called for the administration to again propose…


September 28, 2010

Short-term CR Advances, Pell Shortfall Left Out

With fiscal year 2011 set to begin on Friday October 1st and none of the 12 spending bills yet signed into law, Congress will need to pass a continuing resolution (CR) in order to keep the government functioning. A CR typically funds government operations on a temporary basis, at the previous year’s spending levels, in…


September 14, 2010

Congress Comes Back to Work

Congress returns to work this week for a final few weeks of work before the November elections.  While there is plenty of legislating to do, I don’t expect that we’ll see much action with most major issues being delayed until the post-election lame-duck session.  The only thing that Congress MUST act on before October 1st…


August 5, 2010

Murray Amendment Advances Crucial State Funding

The Senate today passed a crucial amendment that will help states avoid education job losses, and provides desperately needed Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) payments to states . The FMAP/Teacher Jobs Bill passed the senate on a vote of 61-39 and will now be sent to the House where most expect it to pass and then sent to…


FY11 Appropriations Update

***Updated 8/5/10 House and Senate Appropriations committees and subcommittees made substantial movement in their consideration of FY11 appropriations bills during the monthy of July. However, concerns over the federal deficit combined with the associated election year politics have cast a shadow over the appropriations process. Although appropriations bills will continue to advance through committee, it remains unlikely that most…


July 26, 2010

COMPETES Act Heading for the Senate Floor

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee has approved — with bi-partisan support — its portion of the America COMPETES Act (S. 3605). The bill provides for three-year authorizations for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). An authorization for the Department of Energy Office of Science is…



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