Federal Update

Congress has just two weeks before the July 4th recess week to tackle several major legislative issues. This week, the House will try to pass a five-year farm bill that contains controversial dairy policies and cuts to food stamps. It will also revive the abortion debate over a bill to ban certain abortions. In the… Read More


CBO on Student Loan Interest Rate Change and Proposals

Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report on the impacts and costs of the student loan interest rate going from 3.4 to 6.8 percent. The CBO analyzes the impact to Direct (subsidized and unsubsidized) and PLUS loans.  The report also broadly touches on the impacts to students and the nation if student loans… Read More


Student Loan Bills Fail in Senate

This morning, the Senate took up both S 953, the Reed-Harkin-Reid-Murray two year extension of 3.4% interest rate on student loans and the Senate Republican alternative, S 1003, sponsored by Senators Tom Colburn and Lamar Alexander.  The Senate Republican bill would have tied student loan interest rates to the 10-year Treasury note rate plus 3… Read More


Today in Congress: Student Loan Bills

The Senate is in at 9:00am and will hold three procedural votes on the farm bill and two rival bills to keep interest rates low for student loans. It’s not certain either can clear the 60-vote threshold in the Senate. The Republican-led House already has taken action on loans – and drawn a veto threat… Read More


ED Now Accepting Applications for Fall Internships

The Department of Education (ED) is currently accepting applications for fall internships for those interested in education policy research and analysis, intergovernmental relations and public affairs, work with social media while learning about the role Federal Government plays in education, or similar areas. Interns will develop a variety of other skills, including writing, researching, communication,… Read More


This Week in Congress

An overview of relevant House and Senate committee hearings and markups on the schedule this week: TUESDAY, June 4th Senate Appropriations 2014 Appropriations: Transportation, HUD Subcommittee Hearing 2:30 pm, 138 Dirksen House Science, Space, & Technology STEM Education Reorganization Full Committee Hearing 2 pm, 2318 Rayburn WEDNESDAY, June 5th Senate Appropriations 2014 Appropriations: Defense Subcommittee… Read More


House Passes HR 1911

The House just approved the bill HR 1911, the Smarter Solutions for Students Act. The bill passed by a vote of 221 to 198 — largely by party lines: 8 Republicans voted against the bill while 4 Democrats supported it. Before the vote, several higher education associations agreed to be listed as supporters of the legislation,… Read More


Veto threat to HR 1911, Smarter Solutions for Students Act

As we have previously posted, the House is slated to consider HR 1911, the Smarter Solutions for Students Act on Thursday of this week or tomorrow. Yesterday, Education Secretary Duncan all but endorsed the legislation. While the House Rules Committee has yet to meet and determine how to proceed and what amendments will be made… Read More


Secretary Duncan advocates long-term student interest rate solution

Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, testified before the House Committee on Education and Workforce today. During the hearing, House Chairman Klein specifically asked Secretary Duncan to clarify the Administration’s position on the student loan issue. The Republican attempted to elicit an endorsement from Duncan of their bill, HR 1911, the Smarter Solutions for Students Act,… Read More


Senate focuses on Farm Bill and House focuses on Student Loans for the bulk of the week

The Senate and House continue to work though legislation that respective committees addressed last week. The full Senate will consider the Farm Bill (S 954), which the Senate Agriculture Committee passed last week. The Farm Bill reauthorization , which would overhaul farm subsidies and food stamp programs, is expected to be considered by the Senate for… Read More