Federal Relations

May 21, 2015

Alexander and Murray Release HEA Working Groups

Today, HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) announced several bipartisan, full committee staff working groups to address four major issues related to the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The working groups will examine the following topics: Accountability Accreditation College Affordability and Financial Aid Campus Sexual Assault and Safety Senators Alexander and

March 19, 2015

House Budget Bill — Update

After a marathon markup that ran late into the evening, the House Republicans passed the bill out of the Budget Committee along a party line vote this morning. Late last night, the House Republican caucus seemed sharply divided between defense hawks and those committed to cutting spending. According to an analysis from the Committee for Education Funding,

March 10, 2015

POTUS Announces Student Aid Bill of Rights

Today, President Barack Obama plans to unveil a “Student Aid Bill of Rights” designed to allow everyone to access and pay for quality higher education at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. An accompanying Presidential Memorandum contains several directives to federal agencies that officials say will make loan repayment easier and more equitable. While details are not fully known,

February 24, 2015

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 9, 2015

House to Mark Up ESEA

Today, the House Education and Workforce committee announced they will markup HR 5, the Student Success Act on Wednesday, February 11 at 10:00 am. Chairman Kline and Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Chairman Todd Rokita (R-IN) introduced the Student Success Act this month. The Senate has announced that they are taking a bipartisan approach to crafting the ESEA and

January 30, 2015

Pell Grant Levels Announced

The Department of Education announced the maximum Pell grant levels for 2015-2016 today. The agency said the maximum award amount will be $5,775, which is an increase of $45 over the 2014-2015 award maximum. The amount is affected by the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA), which was incorporated as part of Public Law 111-152.

January 28, 2015

President Obama Drops Controversial 529 Plan

President Obama has officially dropped the proposal outlined in his recent State of the Union Address that would eliminate the tax advantage of 529 investment programs after facing severe push-back from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and parents across the country. Per the proposal, any money earned from future contributions to 529 college

January 20, 2015

State of The Union

Tonight at 9 pm Eastern, 6 pm Pacific, President Obama is scheduled to give his 6th State of the Union address to Congress. The White House has been previewing certain initiatives, such as two years of free community college and paid sick leave, in advance of the speech tonight. Tonight, however, the crux of his speech is

July 31, 2014

Senate Passes VA and Transportation Bill

The Senate has passed two key pieces of legislation clearing them for the President’s signature. The Senate has passed legislation overhauling the scandalized Department of Veterans Affairs, by a vote of  91-3. The House considered the measure earlier in the week. The measure contains provisions expanding Graduate Medical Education at VA Hospitals as well as

July 30, 2014

House Passes VA Conference Report

The conference report to accompany H.R. 3230 (reported earlier on the Federal Affairs Blog) was adopted by the House – 420 Yeas, 5 Nays. The Senate is expected to pass it later this week.

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