Health Insurance and Student Aid Overhauls Likely Headed for Reconciliation

Yesterday, during a speech at the White House, President Obama called on Congress to give health care reform an up or down vote before the Easter congressional recess -beginning March 29th. The message seemed to make clear that the President, along with Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid, intend to pursue passage of health insurance reform… Read More


FY11 Budget Overview

Despite an overall spending freeze proposal from the Obama administration, the student aid and research priorities of the higher education community faired relatively well in the President’s Budget Request for FY11. Within the Department of Education, the PBR seeks to increase the maximum Pell grant to $5,710 in FY11 from the current $5,550 level. More importantly,… Read More


National Institutes of Health FY11 Budget Request

Yesterday, the President’s Budget Request (PBR) for FY11 was released. The PBR contained the items of note, listed below, within the National Institutes of Health request. AGENCY/PROGRAM FY10 FINAL FY11 PBR % CHANGE National Institutes of Health 31,247.0 32,247.0 3.20 Office of the Director 1,177.0 1,220.5 3.70 National Cancer Institute 5,101.7 5,264.6 3.19 National Heart, Lung, and… Read More


Balance of Power in the US Senate will Change Agenda

The first election of 2010 is over and the balance of power in the US Senate has shifted just enough to put the Administration’s policy agenda in jeopardy.  Senator-Elect Scott Brown (R-MA) will be the newest member of the Senate, and will be sworn in as soon as the election is certified.  Clues on how… Read More


Majority Leader Unveils Senate Health Care Bill

Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) released the long awaited health insurance reform package that merges bills advanced by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590), would cost roughly $848… Read More


Update from Washington, DC

The House and Senate continue to negotiate a health care reform bill, which has left some open time for both chambers to consider FY10 appropriations bills.  The first order of business this week will be to extend the current continuing resolution (CR) for most federal agencies since the current CR expires on Saturday, October 31st…. Read More


Health Reform Legislation Passes Finance and Delays Student Aid Reform

Yesterday, 10/13/09, the Senate Finance Committee approved a health reform package on a largely party-line vote of 14-9, with only Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) crossing the partisan divide. The vote in Senate Finance was the last of the five House/Senate committee (3 House committees, 2 Senate Committees) votes before consideration by the chambers.  Leadership and… Read More


Update from Washington, DC

The congressional agenda this week will sound familiar to those who have been following the action:  Both chambers will focus on appropriations measures as the fiscal year winds down on September 30th, and Senate and House committees will continue to resolve differences on health care reform proposals. Appropriations Congress has until Wednesday night to pass… Read More


Update from Washington, DC

This week, lawmakers will attempt to clear the decks of routine legislative business on the floors of each chamber so that they can continue to give their full attention to how to move major aspects of Democrats’ signature priorities: healthcare reform and climate change legislation. The House will take up a bill to overhaul the… Read More


Update from Washington, DC

Congress returns to work this week after a fractious August recess during which lawmakers were confronted about the public health insurance option and other contentious elements in Democratic health reform bills.  Policy experts already are identifying less controversial proposals that could attract support from moderate Democrats and even some Republicans. Lawmakers hope to come up… Read More