Federal Relations

May 19, 2014

Congress: Issues to Watch this Week

The House is back in session this week after a weeklong recess period. They will be in session for two weeks before taking another break during the first week in June. The Senate is in this week, but will recess during the week of Memorial Day. Appropriations:  Appropriators appear to be adhering to their plans

May 9, 2014

Larsen Introduces Bill to Protect Bereaved Student Borrowers

Today, Congressman Rick Larsen (D-WA) introduced the Bereaved Student Borrowers Act. The bill  is designed to protect grieving students and students facing family hardship from auto-defaulting on their private student loans and to get better access to information about cosigner release requirements. The bill also prohibits lenders from reporting an auto-default as a result of cosigner

April 1, 2014

Ryan Reveals House FY15 Budget

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled the House FY15 Budget today. The measure proposes to cut $5.1 trillion over a decade in a bid to erase the federal deficit, while calling once again for dramatic changes to Medicare, Medicaid, and the tax code. The House proposal would significantly reduce federal support for college access. The Ryan

February 12, 2014

Senate Passes House Bill to Raise Debt Ceiling

With an impending snow storm as a powerful motivator, the Senate passed the House’s bill to suspend the debt ceiling until March 15, 2015 by a vote of 55-42. Earlier this week, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas vowed to filibuster the measure since the House Republicans “caved to President Obama” and were unable extract to

February 11, 2014

House Passes Clean Bill to Raise Debt Ceiling

With a vote of 221-201 , the House voted to suspendthe debt limit for one year without requiring any offsets. Earlier this week, the House had floated the idea of adding military COLA pay to the measure, but ultimately that proposal and other additions were squashed. The measure narrowly passed and only passed with the help of

February 3, 2014

In-State Tuition for Veterans Bill Passes House

Tonight, the House has considered and passed that would require in-state tuition for certain veterans (Section 4 of HR.357, the GI Bill Tuition Fairness Act as amended). The bill was brought up under an expedited process referred to as “Suspension of the Rules.” Bills brought up in this manner are generally bipartisan, non-controversial measures that are

January 28, 2014

Farm Bill Conference Report Announced

After two years of negotiating, Farm bill conferees announced a sweeping, bipartisan five-year farm bill late Monday. The measure costs an estimated $1.1 trillion and is filled with trade-offs and an estimated savings of nearly $23 billion. The bulk of savings comes from cutting $19 billion from farm programs, including an end to direct payments

January 16, 2014

Murray Introduces Bill to Provide In-State Tuition for DREAMer Students

Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced the Investing IN States To Achieve Tuition Equity (IN-STATE) for Dreamers Act of 2014. The IN-STATE for Dreamers Act establishes the American Dream Grant program, which encourages states to increase access to higher education for low-income students, regardless of immigration status. This program would provide $750 million

House Sends FY14 Omnibus Bill to Senate

Yesterday the House approved the $1.1 trillion FY14 omnibus spending bill that remains true to the intent of December’s budget agreement and sets a new tone for the FY15 appropriations cycle.  Adopted by 359-67, the strong bipartisan support in the House should help build momentum next in the Senate where lawmakers are racing against a

January 13, 2014

FY2014 Omnibus Released

Appropriators unveiled the FY2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill today. This legislation will provide discretionary funding for the entire federal government for the remainder of the current fiscal year. As drafted, the omnibus package fully respects the contours set in December but adds hundreds of pages in detail, spelling out where the dollars will actually go. The

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