Federal Relations

Obama Aims to Ease Student Debt

President Obama announced today a new executive order aimed at easing student borrowers’ debt loads by capping repayments at 10 percent of their monthly income. Obama also made student loans the focus of his weekly address on Saturday, saying he’d be taking action this week. The executive order will expand on a 2010 law, the Bipartisan Student

The Week Ahead

This week lawmakers continue to debate FY2015 appropriations, student loans, and VA reform. Tonight, the House will vote on S. 1254, the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2013. The bill would authorize $20.5 million annually through 2018 for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to reduce the effects of

Senate Committees Hold Hearings on Student Loans

This morning Senators discussed student loans in two simultaneous committee hearings. The Senate Budget Committee, which is chaired by Washington State’s Senator Patty Murray, held a full committee hearing titled, “Impact of Student Loan Debt on Borrowers and the Economy.” Key witnesses in the hearing included representatives from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Student

Easton to leave IES

 John Easton announced today that he will be leaving his position as Director of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) this Fall to take a position at the Spencer Foundation in Chicago. As director of IES, Easton oversaw the National Center for Education Statistics, the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, the National Center for Education Research, and

House Continues CJS, House Science Cmte Passes FIRST

Adjourning well after midnight last night, the House will consider its floor consideration of the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill this morning. The House is expected to pass the measure late tonight. Thus far, the House has considered a number of amendments, and some of interest are below. Passed Amendments: An amendment, offered by Mr. Reichert

House Science Committee Passes FIRST (almost)

In an incredibly partisan and late mark up, the House Science Committee finally finished considering the 27 proposed and debated amendments to the FIRST Act (HR 4186). Given the lengthy and contentious nature of the hearing, the roll call votes and final passage of the measure have been postponed until next week. Therefore, as of

Patent Reform Legislation Pulled from Agenda

Consideration of comprehensive patent legislation appears to be off the agenda for the year after Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Leahy (D-VT) pulled it from his committee’s agenda on Wednesday. He cited frustration with unproductive negotiations as the reason for the turnaround. The measure had been slated for consideration by the committee today but less than

U.S. Department of Education Announces $75 Million First in the World Competition

To spur innovation in higher education aimed at helping more students access and complete a college degree or credential, the U.S. Department of Education announced late last week the availability of $75 million in the First in the World (FITW) program. The grants will fund the development and testing of innovative approaches and strategies at

House Committee to Consider the FIRST Act

On Wednesday, the House Science Committee will mark up HR 4186, the FIRST Act, a bill which will reauthorize NIST, NSF and a host of other federal science-focused programs. This is the 113th Congress’s version of the America COMPETES reauthorization. While in previous Congresses this legislation has been bipartisan and uncontroversial, the FIRST Act has

Congress: Issues to Watch this Week

The House is back in session this week after a weeklong recess period. They will be in session for two weeks before taking another break during the first week in June. The Senate is in this week, but will recess during the week of Memorial Day. Appropriations:  Appropriators appear to be adhering to their plans

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