Federal Relations

Higher Education


April 12, 2017

OMB Director Mulvaney Pushing for Sanctuary City Language in FY2017

OMB Director Mick Mulvaney is pushing House lawmakers to include language in the FY2017 omnibus appropriations bill to restrict federal funding grants for cities that do not enforce federal immigration policies. The goal is to bring the House Freedom Caucus on board with a government funding bill. Such a provision, known as a rider, would put…


March 16, 2017

America First Budget Released

The Trump Administration released its first budget, called the American First Budget this morning. Coming in at 62 pages total, the “America First” budget blueprint is what is known as a “skinny budget” is somewhat scant on details. The budget’s main theme is doing more with less by eliminating “nonfunctioning” or duplicative programs and wasteful spending; streamlining federal…


Second Court Suspends Immigration Executive Order

A federal district court in Hawaii has issued a nationwide temporary restraining order for the second Presidential Executive Order on immigration set to go into effect today. This morning, federal judge in Maryland  temporarily blocked parts of President Trump’s revised travel order. Both courts rule that the travel ban was meant to discriminate against Muslims and…


March 10, 2017

Senate Repeals Teacher Education Regulations

Employing the same method used by the House in February, the Senate rolled back on Wednesday the regulations issued by the Education Department in the last days of the Obama Administration aimed at teacher education and training programs at institutions of higher education.


February 28, 2017

Trump to Address Congress Tonight, Senate Approves Ross, and Zinke Up

Last night, the Senate confirmed another Cabinet nominee for Trump as it voted 72-27 to confirm billionaire investor Wilbur Ross as Commerce Secretary. Ross is a 79-year-old businessman who made his fortune by turning around companies in distressed industries like textiles and steel and is expected to play a leading role in trade policy. The Senate now…


February 24, 2017

DeVos Takes on “Education Establishment”

In a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Feb. 23, the new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos stated that higher education faculty tell students what to say and what to think.  Her prepared speech reads, in part: The faculty, from adjunct professors to deans, tell you what to do, what to say, and…


February 9, 2017

DeVos’ First Day

Wednesday was the first day for newly confirmed Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos.  She spent her first day meeting staffers and touring the department as well as addressing all staff. In her address, DeVos sought to move beyond the contentious confirmation process and unite the department, which she acknowledged likely has some staffers who disagree with her…


February 7, 2017

DeVos Confirmed

Today, the Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. The vote was 51-50 — a tie that forced Vice President Mike Pence to cast the deciding vote. The Vice President has never had to cast the deciding ballot in a confirmation vote before. DeVos becomes the nation’s 11th Secretary of Education after long and contentious…


February 6, 2017

More Cabinet Posts, FY 2018 Budget Update

It will continue to be a busy week for the House and Senate. Today, the Senate will continue to work on confirmations as four Cabinet positions – Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education, Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, Rep. Tom Price for Secretary of HHS, and Steven Mnuchin for Secretary of Treasury  – are up for full Senate consideration this…


February 3, 2017

DeVos Nomination Heads to Full Senate Vote

Late Thursday/early Friday, the Senate cleared procedural hurdles that would bring the nomination of Betsy DeVos to the floor for a vote by the full Senate next week. A number of groups have argued against her nomination to become the Secretary of Education and two Republicans have recently stated that they will oppose her. With…



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