Federal Relations

Charting the student loan interest rate proposals

As the Office of Federal Relations continues to track the proposals and progress made on legislation affecting the student loan interest rate, below is a chart highlighting the proposals to date and major proposals. Options continue to multiply as the July 1 deadline raising the 3.4 percent interest rate to 6.4 percent is quickly approaching.

Farm Bill goes to mark up

Both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees are working on the Farm Bill this week. The respective farm bills scheduled to be marked up in Senate Agriculture on Tuesday and House Agriculture on Wednesday. The draft House plan released on Friday would save a projected $39.7 billion over a decade through reductions to nutrition programs, farm

Progress on Student Loan Interest Rate Bill

Although both chambers are in recess today, there’s plenty of behind-the-scenes legislating and negotiating. House lawmakers plan to release a draft 2013 farm bill that’s expected to produce $38 billion in savings over a decade. Across the Capitol, Senate Democrats are looking for ways to advance President Obama’s nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency

Senate Begins Mark Up of Immigration Bill

The Senate Judiciary Committee is beginning to mark up the immigration bill today in the opening act of what will likely be a long, contentious fight over amendments. The “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act” (S 744) is the immigration reform proposal developed by the so-called “gang of eight.” Among other things, the

Senate Releases Immigration Reform Bill

Senate negotiators have reached an agreement on a bill to make the most substantive changes to immigration laws in nearly three decades. The “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013” would affect visas for high-tech workers, create a new “W-visa” program to attract low-skilled workers, and require businesses to implement new electronic-verification

This Week in Congress

The Senate resumes its gun control debate this week, beginning today with the most substantive and contentious issue: a bipartisan proposal to require background checks of gun purchasers in commercial and Internet sales. It’s the start of deliberations that could keep that chamber busy until the Memorial Day recess. We also expect to see an

Federal Update, March 2013

The month of March has been a busy one in Washington, D.C. On March 1st sequestration went into effect after Congress failed to come to agreement on long-term deficit reduction, and last week both the House and Senate approved their respective budget resolutions that address overall spending for federal government for FY 2014. And, finally, Congress

Senate Approves Budget, Begins Two-Week Recess

Early this morning, the Senate passed its first budget in four years by a vote of 50 to 49 after a marathon session that began Friday morning and included 562 filed amendments. The Senate approved a budget resolution that relies heavily on $975 billion in new tax revenue to stabilize the growth of the national

CR and Budget Update

Yesterday, the Senate passed HR 933, a continuing resolution to fund federal government for the remainder of FY 2013. That bill now moves back to the House for final approval, which should take place today before being sent to the President for signature. While the CR does not eliminate sequestration, it does provide some federal

Today in Congress

The Senate is still struggling to get the FY 2013 continuing resolution (CR) approved, which now looks like it may happen on Thursday. That will leave little time to consider the FY 2014 budget resolution. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has said that he is planning to keep members in session until they complete

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