Federal Relations

Higher Education


December 5, 2016

Senate Passed Cloture on Cures, NDAA & Cures to Pass Wednesday

The Senate invoked cloture Monday evening on legislation (HR 34, 21st Century Cures) designed to spur medical innovation. Eighty-five Senators supported the motion to limit debate and proceed with a vote on the measure. It takes two days for a cloture motion to limit debate to “ripen,” and there already is one pending on the…


Home for the Holidays?

The plan is for Congress to finish all its work for the year this week, with a stopgap spending measure to fund the government through next Spring. When in Spring? That’s still a very good question.  The House Republicans held a conference meeting on Friday that did not resolve how long the stopgap should last or precisely…


December 2, 2016

Foxx to be Chair of House Education and Workforce Cmte, Trump’s Ed Landing Team

With approval of the full Republican conference, the House Republican Steering Committee has selected Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) as the chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce in the 115th Congress.  She grew up in Appalachia without power and running water and began working as a weaver at age 12 to help…


House Considers NDAA Today

The House will debate and vote on the compromise National Defense Authorization Act today, likely before noon. The measure is expected to pass, though it is unclear by how wide a margin. The White House hasn’t indicated where President Barack Obama will come down on the final bill, though it leaves out many of the…


November 30, 2016

White House Supports Cures

Late yesterday, the White House issued a Statement of Administrative Policy (SAP) in support of the 21st Century Cures legislation, which is on the House Floor today. The SAP expressly calls out the Innovation Fund in the measure, which targets funding for several of the Administration’s health care priorities, as a highlight of the measure….


November 27, 2016

Compromise on Cures Heads to House

The House Rules Committee has noticed that 21st Century Cures will be considered next week. The package is expected on the House floor on Wednesday, November 30. The legislation is expected to be added as an amendment to an existing bill (H.R. 34) to allow for expedited action in the Senate.  The House Rules Committee’s summary…


November 23, 2016

DeVos to be ED Secretary

President-elect Donald Trump is nominating Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary. A billionaire GOP donor, she also once served as head of the Michigan Republican Party. DeVos is a vocal advocate of allowing parents to use school vouchers to seek alternative schools and other policies strongly opposed by teachers unions. She is the current chairwoman of the…


November 17, 2016

Rep. Foxx Discusses Priorities for 115th Congress

Today Inside Higher Ed published an exclusive Q&A with North Carolina’s Rep. Virginia Foxx, who is expected to chair the House Education & Workforce Committee in the 115th Congress. Foxx, who says she has already been in touch with the President-Elect’s transition team, is likely to be in favor of rolling back regulations put in place…


November 10, 2016

Lame Duck Priorities

Congress is scheduled to return next week for a Lame Duck session of Congress and many items still remain on the 2016 agenda before Trump takes office, including wrapping up the 11 remaining FY 2017 spending bills and a 21st Century Cures bill that both Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan said was a priority for passage…


November 9, 2016

Obamacare & the 115th

Today, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced the Republican leadership’s intention to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, quickly into the 115th Congress. While there is no confirmation on a legislative vehicle, the most likely means for Congress to pass something will be the Budget Reconciliation process. This process is also…



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