Federal Relations

Report Required on Sequester Impacts

We may soon learn more about how the scheduled automatic budget cuts, or sequester, will affect federal programs. Yesterday, the Senate passed a House measure (HR 5872) giving the Obama administration 30 days to describe its plans for implementing the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts scheduled to go into effect beginning in January. The measure

Labor-HHS-Ed Bill Status

The House Appropriations Committee has not yet announced a full committee markup for its FY 2013 Labor-HHS-Education spending bill, and now many are raising doubts that it will ever do so. On Monday, Congressman Norm Dicks (D-WA), ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, expressed his belief that his GOP colleagues have “indefinitely postponed” further

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

Education Provisions in House L-HHS-Ed Bill

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education released their draft FY 2013 appropriations bill this morning, with plans of a Subcommittee markup tomorrow (Wednesday) at 10:00am eastern time.  Highlights include: Pell Grants – The maximum Pell Grant award is increased to $5,635, mostly due to an authorized mandatory cost-of-living adjustment. Corporation for Public Broadcasting – The

FY 2013 Labor-HHS-ED Draft Bill

The House Appropriations Committee this morning released their draft FY 2013 Labor-Health and Human Services-Education (LHHS) Appropriations bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow morning (Wednesday).  As expected, the draft bill includes $150 billion in discretionary funding, which is $6.3 billion below last year’s level and $8.8 billion below the President’s budget request. Health

Sequester “Line in the Sand” Bills

Senate Democrats are warning that they will not agree to a deal to stop across-the-board spending cuts early next year (sequester) without new revenue gained by ending tax breaks on the wealthiest Americans.  To that end, they circulated a draft bill yesterday that would spare most Americans from higher tax rates that are due to

This Week in Congress

Both the House and Senate return to Capitol Hill today from their Fourth of July recess and begin the final four week stretch before the August recess. The Senate is in at 2:00pm though no votes are scheduled until tomorrow. The House is also in at 2:00pm with votes expected at 6:30pm, when seven bills

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 –

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