Federal Relations

January 9, 2015

White House Proposes Two Years of Free Community College

In advance of his State of the Union address, President Obama is traveling to Tennessee today to announce one of his keystones of his 2015 agenda: two free years of community college.  The proposal, called America’s College Promise, is based on Republican Governor Bill Haslam, who developed and launched Tennessee Promise, which begins this year. Tennessee Promise allows any

December 14, 2014

Senate Passes FY15 Appropriations

In a very rare weekend session, the Senate voted 56-40 late Saturday evening to pass the FY15 $1.1 trillion spending package that funds most of the government through next September. As previously discussed in this blog, the package includes 11 appropriations bills that fund most of the government through Sept. 30 and a continuing resolution (CR) funding

December 11, 2014

House Fails IRA Charitable Rollover Legislation

The House failed to pass a permanent extension to the IRA charitable roll over provision. The House was considering a package of three tax extenders this week. The House previously passed a one-year extension, which is waiting Senate consideration. The White House had issued a veto threat on the measure.

December 10, 2014

FY15 Appropriations Released

Last night, House and Senate Appropriators unveiled a $1.1 trillion spending package that is a combination of all but one of the Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15) appropriations bills rolled into an omnibus for the remainder for FY15, plus a continuing resolution (CR) funding the Department of Homeland Security through February 2015. The FY15 appropriations package, dubbed

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

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