Federal Relations

March 31, 2010

President Signs Health and Student Aid Reconciliation Bill

Yesterday, President Obama signed a bill of “fixes,” worked out between the House and Senate, to the health insurance reform bill that was signed into law last week. The changes, advanced as part of a budget reconciliation package, included the much anticipated overhaul of the federal student loan programs. The March Federal Report, provided on the right-side

March 24, 2010

President Signs Historic Health Insurance Overhaul Into Law

**UPDATE: The Federal Report, provided on the right-side user bar of this website, provides greater coverage of the health insurance and student aid legislation. After more than a year of debate, on Sunday March 21st, the  House of Representatives voted 219-212 to approve the Senate’s health insurance reform package, which passed that body in December.  Additionally,

March 18, 2010

Health Insurance/Student Aid Reconciliation Package Released

Shortly after receipt of a Cognressional Budget Office (CBO) score that found that the health insurance and student aid overhauls would reduce the deficit by roughly $138 billion over the next years ($1.2 trillion over the next 10 years), the Democratic leadership in Congress posted the details of the bill on-line -as they had promised

March 4, 2010

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

February 2, 2010

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,

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

January 20, 2010

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

November 19, 2009

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

October 26, 2009

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.

October 14, 2009

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

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