Federal Relations

Higher Education


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…


January 31, 2017

DeVos Approved by HELP

The Senate HELP Committee just voted to advance the nominee for Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos. The committee vote was 12-11, which is along party lines. Two Republicans, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), said that they voted to advance DeVos’ nomination out of committee but still had concerns about her nomination and remained undecided on…


January 27, 2017

Administration Regulatory Reform Update

Last week, White House Chief of Staff, Reince Preibus, issued a memorandum to all executive departments and agencies to freeze new or pending regulations — giving the new Administration time to review them, which is a common practice for any incoming administration. For any regulations that have yet to be sent for publishing in the Federal Register,…


January 26, 2017

Federal Grant Update

Some initial actions and comments from the incoming Trump Administration have prompted questions and concerns from faculty, researchers, and the media, regarding federal research. Particularly, questions have pertained to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants. Here is what we know: It is not uncommon for incoming administrations to issue a hold on grants at the beginning of their tenure. The current…


January 23, 2017

Trump Issues Memos on TPP, Federal Hiring Freeze, and US Foreign Aid

President Donald Trump signed three presidential memos on Monday freezing federal hiring, withdrawing the US from the TPP, and banning US foreign aid from performing or promoting abortions. First, President Donald Trump moved Monday to make good on a campaign promise to shrink the size of the federal government, issuing a memo to freeze federal…


January 17, 2017

Inauguration, Confirmation Hearings, Oh My!

The House and Senate are back from the long weekend recognizing the late Civil Rights leader, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and already Congress is at work — though arguably the politics didn’t stop this weekend. The Senate is gearing up for a second round of fights over President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees as Republicans…


January 10, 2017

ED Secretary Confirmation Hearing Delayed

The Senate HELP committee announced the hearing for Trump’s Education Secretary appointee, Betsy DeVoes, will be delayed a week. The confirmation hearing will now take place on January 17th at 5 PM.



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