Federal Relations

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

FY 2015 Continuing Resolution Released

Last night, the House of Representatives released their version of the FY2015 Continuing Resolution to fund federal government through December 11, 2014. The CR would fund the government at its current rate of $1.012 trillion annually with only a few changes in spending. Those changes include the Administration’s $88 million request to fight the Ebola

Senators Introduce America COMPETES

Senators Jay Rockefeller, (D-UW and Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Ed Markey (D-MA) have introduced the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2014. The Senators’ bill would authorize stable and sustained increases in federal research and development (R&D) funding for

Senate Passes VA and Transportation Bill

The Senate has passed two key pieces of legislation clearing them for the President’s signature. The Senate has passed legislation overhauling the scandalized Department of Veterans Affairs, by a vote of  91-3. The House considered the measure earlier in the week. The measure contains provisions expanding Graduate Medical Education at VA Hospitals as well as

House Melts Down

In what was supposed to be the last series of votes before the August Recess, the House has pulled a vote for legislation that would fund the border crisis. Both an emergency funding measure and a measure  to limit the Deferred Action on Child Arrivals (DACA) program, for which consideration was dependent on the funding measure

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

Senate to Introduce COMPETES Reauthorization This Week

We expect Senator John Rockefeller (D-WV) will introduce the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2014 later this week. A discussion draft of this five-year reauthorization bill has been circulated and many provisions in the bill are reminiscent of the COMPETES Acts of 2007 and 2010.

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

Higher Ed Legislation Advances

Today Senate HELP Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) will introduce his plan to reauthorize the Higher Education Act. The Higher Education Affordability Act focuses on four goals: Increasing college affordability, helping struggling borrowers, strengthening accountability, and improving transparency. These goals will be achieved through 21 action points, including tightening for-profit regulations, better accountability metrics for colleges

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