Federal Relations

Federal Agency Developments


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…


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…


December 17, 2014

New ARPA-E Director Confirmed by US Senate

Dr. Ellen Williams, the new Director of ARPA-E, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate last week and sworn in earlier today by U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. Prior to joining ARPA-E, Dr. Williams served as a Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Energy and previously served as the Chief Scientist for BP. She is currently on…


Dr. Franklin Orr Sworn in as Under Secretary for Science & Energy

Dr. Franklin (Lynn) M. Orr was sworn in as the Under Secretary for Science and Energy on December 17, 2014. As the Under Secretary, Dr. Orr is the principal advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary on clean energy technologies and science and energy research initiatives. Dr. Orr is the inaugural Under Secretary for the office,…


December 11, 2014

White House Announces New Manufacturing Innovation Hubs Competition

Today, the President announced nearly $290 million in public-private investment for two new Manufacturing Innovation Hub Competitions. The two New Manufacturing Innovation Hub Competitions will consist of two competitions for manufacturing innovation institutes today—one in smart manufacturing at the Department of Energy and one in flexible hybrid electronics at the Department of Defense. Each institute will receive $70…


September 11, 2014

New Deadline on RFI for National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI)

Last year, President Obama launched a major, new initiative focused on strengthening the innovation, performance, competitiveness, and job-creating power of U.S. manufacturing called the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). Key design elements for the NNMI are captured within National Network for Manufacturing Innovation: A Preliminary Design, a report issued by the White House National…


June 9, 2014

Obama Aims to Ease Student Debt

President Obama announced today a new executive order aimed at easing student borrowers’ debt loads by capping repayments at 10 percent of their monthly income. Obama also made student loans the focus of his weekly address on Saturday, saying he’d be taking action this week. The executive order will expand on a 2010 law, the Bipartisan Student…


May 29, 2014

Easton to leave IES

 John Easton announced today that he will be leaving his position as Director of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) this Fall to take a position at the Spencer Foundation in Chicago. As director of IES, Easton oversaw the National Center for Education Statistics, the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, the National Center for Education Research, and…


May 21, 2014

U.S. Department of Education Announces $75 Million First in the World Competition

To spur innovation in higher education aimed at helping more students access and complete a college degree or credential, the U.S. Department of Education announced late last week the availability of $75 million in the First in the World (FITW) program. The grants will fund the development and testing of innovative approaches and strategies at…


ED Announces Plan College Ratings Timeframe

Today, the Department of Education (ED) announced a timeframe for rolling out the Administration’s proposed College Ratings system. In a post by Deputy Under Secretary Jamienne Studley entitled, “Making it Easier to Pick and Pay for College through Ratings“, the Administration announced that the college ratings system will be ready this Fall and a final…



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