Federal Relations

December 10, 2014

House Considers Charitable Tax Extenders

Last week, the House voted to renew most extenders for one year — restoring them for the current 2014 tax year so that companies and individuals can make use of the breaks when filing their 2014 tax returns. The Senate expects to clear that measure in the coming days. Today, the House considered HR 5806, the

November 18, 2014

Congressman Rush Holt to lead AAAS

Congressman Rush D. Holt, Ph.D., who is retiring from the U.S. House of Representatives at the end of this year, has agreed to become chief executive officer and executive publisher of the Science family of journals for American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), He will succeed Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D., who had previously announced that he would be

September 17, 2014

HELP Committee Passes ESRA

This morning, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee marked up a bill to reauthorize the Education Sciences Reform Act or ESRA. The Senate Committee passed voice vote a bipartisan substitute amendment that closely tracks the House-passed version of this bill, H.R. 4366, the Strengthening Education through Research Act. The House passed the bill in March of

July 30, 2014

House Passes VA Conference Report

The conference report to accompany H.R. 3230 (reported earlier on the Federal Affairs Blog) was adopted by the House – 420 Yeas, 5 Nays. The Senate is expected to pass it later this week.

House Considers VA Conference Report

Both the House and Senate intend to bring to the floor this week a conference agreement to reform the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and increase transparency and services in the Department of Veterans Administration (VA). The House will be the first to consider, what has been a delicate and sometimes contentious agreement to create, the conference

July 25, 2014

Rep. Ryan Anti-Poverty Plan and Higher Education

On Thursday, House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced what he is calling  a new anti-poverty plan that proposes sweeping changes to the safety net through a state-led pilot program. Announced at the the conservative American Enterprise Institute, Ryan’s plan calls for streamlining the student-aid system, capping federal loans to parents and graduate students, a database for tracking recipients of

House Passes Black-Davis Student and Family Tax Simplification Act

The House passed H.R. 3393, the Student and Family Tax Simplification Act (Black-Davis), by a vote of 227-187 yesterday. The bill combines four education tax benefits into a new, permanent American Opportunity Tax Credit. The higher education community has raised concerns about how the bill impacts nontraditional and graduate students. These concerns were echoed in

July 24, 2014

House Passes Series of Student-focused Bills

The House considered a series of higher education bills this week designed to increase transparency and education for student in how to pay for college. On Wednesday, the House passed the Advancing Competency-Based Education Demonstration Project Act (H.R. 3136) sponsored by Representative Matt Salmon (R-AZ), Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Jared Polis (D-CO). The bill would: Promotes innovation in higher

June 30, 2014

Student Loan Interest Rates Rise

Annual student loan interest rates increase tomorrow, July 1st. This represents the first full year loan rates will be tied to the 10-year Treasury note under the deal struck by Congress last summer. Rates will rise from 3.86 to 4.66 percent for undergraduate Stafford loans, 5.41 to 6.21 percent for graduate Stafford loans and 6.41

June 26, 2014

House Ed and Workforce Introduce Multiple HEA-focused Bills

Today, the House Education and Workforce introduced several bills to reauthorize the HEA. Earlier this year, the House announced it would take a piecemeal approach to reauthorization rather than a single, large bill. The committee reiterated this strategy and outlined a number of principles that will guide its HEA reauthorization process in its white paper released earlier

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