Federal Relations

Higher Education


June 23, 2016

SCOTUS: Fisher v. Texas

Today, the Supreme Court today upheld the University of Texas at Austin’s (UT) consideration of race and ethnicity in college admissions. The ruling came in a case, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, about the admissions practices at the UT, but will likely affect admissions and financial aid policies in most institutes of higher education….


June 10, 2016

Labor-HHS-Ed Passes Senate Appropriations

This week the Senate Committee on Appropriations took action on the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations measure.  Most notably, the measure provides a $2 billion bump for the National Institutes of Health and restores year-round Pell Grants.  National Institutes of Health is funded at $34 billion in the proposal, a 6.3% increase above FY2016. This includes: $300 million for the Precision Medicine Initiative,…


June 7, 2016

Senate Subcommittee Passes FY 2017 Labor-H

Today, the Senate appropriations subcommittee approved the first bipartisan Labor-H funding bill since Obamacare became law more than six years ago. The Senate’s FY 2017 bill includes a $2 billion increase for NIH (the same as the FY 2016 increase), a near doubling of funding to fight the opioid epidemic to $261 million, and $7.1 billion for…


June 6, 2016

Congress Gets Back to Work for the Long Slog

The House and Senate return to work this week in what will be the largest number of consecutive legislative days prior to the August Recess.  Both legislative bodies will push pause and briefly come together for a joint session to receive Indian Prime Minister Modi. The Senate returns today to resume consideration on its FY 2017 National…


May 26, 2016

House Passes Amended Senate Energy Policy Bill

Yesterday, the House passed, by a vote of 241-178, an amended Senate legislative package (S. 2012) containing its broad energy policy overhaul. The Senate, which passed a more bipartisan bill, expressed concern about several of the many contentious elements the House added. The House included several controversial provisions including it’s stalled version to reauthorize America COMPETES.  The next step…


May 23, 2016

House Keeps Moving on Approps

This week, the House is expected to move the FY2017 E&W bill on the Floor while the House Appropriations Committee is expected to mark up FY 2017 CJS and T-HUD bills in full committee and FY 2017 Interior in subcommittee. The House FY2017 E&W bill provides a total of $37.4 billion in funding subject to discretionary…


May 17, 2016

House Releases FY2017 CJS

The House Appropriations Committee today released their FY2017 Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) appropriations bill that would provide $56 billion, which is a 0.5 percent increase from current spending, and $1.4 billion over the Administration’s request. The bill, which will be marked up in subcommittee Wednesday, would give modest spending boosts to several law enforcement agencies including the…


May 16, 2016

ED Unveils Pell Dual Enrollment Pilot Program

The Department of Education unveiled its plan to allow dual enrollments in the Pell grant program today. The plan, which would take place in the 2016-2017 school year, would allow high school students, who are Pell-eligible, to pay for and enroll in college classes using Pell Grant funds. At a cost of $20 million, this…


May 13, 2016

More Movement on Appropriations

The House and Senate will continue to work on fiscal year 2017 funding bills next week. Both the House and Senate are expected to take up, very different, Zika funding packages next week.  While the Senate will likely to vote to accept a $1.1 billion emergency package, the House plans to vote on a bill that…


April 20, 2016

Energy & Water Moves Forward with a Veto Threat

Last night, the House Appropriations Committee cleared its FY 2017 Energy & Water Appropriations legislation by voice vote, clearing the measure for Floor consideration. The bill includes $37.4 billion for the Department of Energy, Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and other agencies and programs. House Democrats and Republicans sparred over language in the bill…



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