Federal Relations

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

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.

House Considers VA Conference Report

Both the House and Senate intend to bring to the floor this week a conference agreement to reform the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and increase transparency and services in the Department of Veterans Administration (VA). The House will be the first to consider, what has been a delicate and sometimes contentious agreement to create, the conference

Rep. Ryan Anti-Poverty Plan and Higher Education

On Thursday, House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced what he is calling  a new anti-poverty plan that proposes sweeping changes to the safety net through a state-led pilot program. Announced at the the conservative American Enterprise Institute, Ryan’s plan calls for streamlining the student-aid system, capping federal loans to parents and graduate students, a database for tracking recipients of

House Passes Series of Student-focused Bills

The House considered a series of higher education bills this week designed to increase transparency and education for student in how to pay for college. On Wednesday, the House passed the Advancing Competency-Based Education Demonstration Project Act (H.R. 3136) sponsored by Representative Matt Salmon (R-AZ), Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Jared Polis (D-CO). The bill would: Promotes innovation in higher

Student Loan Interest Rates Rise

Annual student loan interest rates increase tomorrow, July 1st. This represents the first full year loan rates will be tied to the 10-year Treasury note under the deal struck by Congress last summer. Rates will rise from 3.86 to 4.66 percent for undergraduate Stafford loans, 5.41 to 6.21 percent for graduate Stafford loans and 6.41

House Ed and Workforce Introduce Multiple HEA-focused Bills

Today, the House Education and Workforce introduced several bills to reauthorize the HEA. Earlier this year, the House announced it would take a piecemeal approach to reauthorization rather than a single, large bill. The committee reiterated this strategy and outlined a number of principles that will guide its HEA reauthorization process in its white paper released earlier

Higher Ed Legislation Advances

Today Senate HELP Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) will introduce his plan to reauthorize the Higher Education Act. The Higher Education Affordability Act focuses on four goals: Increasing college affordability, helping struggling borrowers, strengthening accountability, and improving transparency. These goals will be achieved through 21 action points, including tightening for-profit regulations, better accountability metrics for colleges

Student Loan Bill Fails in Senate

The Senate failed to invoke cloture this morning and will not move forward on Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) bill to refinance student debt. The Senate voted of 56-38, which is less than the 2/3rds required to move forward.

Cloture Filed on Student Loan Bill

Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)  filed a cloture motion on proceeding to the student loan bill (S 2432) that would allow borrowers to refinance their old student loans at the current lower interest rates. The cloture vote would occur on Wednesday. Cloture, under the Senate rules, ends debate on the bill and allows for final

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