Federal Relations

President to Nominate Sally Jewel for Interior

According to Politico.com, President Obama will nominate current REI President and CEO Sally Jewell to lead the Interior Department. Sally is also a current member of the UW Board of Regents. If confirmed, Sally would replace current Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who held the post throughout Obama’s first term. Salazar announced last month that he

Alternative to Dream Act Introduced

As the Los Angeles Times is reporting, three republican senators introduced an alternative version of the Dream Act on Tuesday that would give legal status for young immigrants brought to the US unlawfully as children.  The effort, called the Achieve Act and launched by retiring senators Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) and

Sequester Details

Schedule: Both the House and Senate are out until Wednesday in observance of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. When they return, the Senate will take action on the 6-month continuing resolution. Both chambers are expected to recess at the end of the week and not return until after the November elections. OMB Sequester Report:

Sequester Impacts

Today US Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) released a detailed analysis of the impact of sequestration on dozens of health, education and labor programs. The report includes State level information on funding cuts and details the impact in every State. The report will be featured at a rally this afternoon in DC with non-defense groups.  Read the report

Congress Talks CR, Appropriations, and Sequester

FY 2013 Continuing Resolution:  Several Republican lawmakers are advocating for an early vote on a stopgap spending bill for FY 2013 that would keep the government running into early next year, leaving contentious funding decisions for the next Congress. Most believe they are betting that they’ll have more power next year – possible control of

House L-HHS-Ed Mark Up

The House is likely to mark up their Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill on July 18, although no official announcement has been made. The $150 billion bill is the only one of the 12 annual spending bills not yet approved by House appropriators. At $150 billion, the measure would be about $7 billion below current spending.

The Aftermath…

Both the House and Senate are in recess this week for the Fourth of July holiday.  Late last week, both chambers demonstrated that they can advance legislation by reauthorizing federal highway and transit programs for two years and preventing Stafford student loan interest rate increases.  Also last week, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care

Student Loans and Transportation Research

The House and Senate both will take action today on the conference agreement to HR 4348, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The agreement reauthorizes federal highway, transit, and other surface transportation programs through September 30, 2014, at current funding levels with inflationary increases for certain programs. It consolidates or

Deal Reached on Student Loans

On Tuesday, Senate leaders announced that they reached a deal to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, but they are still determining whether to attach that “deal” to a measure that would reauthorize highway programs, which is still being negotiated. Congress must take action on both issues –

“DREAM Act” Closer to Reality

President Obama took executive action today to end the deportation of people who would be eligible for the DREAM Act if it were enacted. The new policy, effective immediately, will grant the people eligible for the program renewable, deferred action on their immigration status and the ability to apply for work authorization. The DREAM Act

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