Federal Relations

Senate Proposes Increase for NIH

Earlier today the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (L-HHS-ED) Appropriations Subcommittee approved by voice vote an FY14 bill that provides $164.33 billion in discretionary funding for programs under its jurisdiction, $7.8 billion higher than FY13 and above the budget caps established in the Budget Control Act.  No amendments were offered during the subcommittee

Congress Back to Work this Week

Congress returns today after a weeklong recess period to begin a four-week work schedule leading into the August recess. The next four weeks will focus largely on FY14 spending bills. But this week the Senate Democrats will certainly attempt to reverse an interest rate hike on federal student loans that kicked in July 1st and

Federally Subsidized Student Loan Rates Double Today

Congress adjourned last week for the 4th of July recess without passing legislation to halt the rise of student loan interest rates. That means that today the interest rate on Federally Subsidized student loans doubles from 3.4% to 6.8%. The rate hike is expected to affect 7 million students and will add an average of

Senate Passes Immigration Reform

A short time ago, the US Senate approved sweeping immigration legislation. By a vote of 68 to 32, the Senate approved and concluded a month-long debate of a measure which was nearly 1,200 pages. To note the historic significance of the vote, Vice President Biden presided over the vote and Senators voted from their desks, which is

Senate may Vote on Immigration Bill Today

Although the vote is officially scheduled for tomorrow afternoon, some reports are claiming that Senators may try to move the legislation for a vote around 4pm today. Senator Reid announced that Senators will make the vote from their desks – a method usually reserved for votes on historic legislation. Republicans in the House of Representatives

Student Loan Deal Unlikely

Today, Senate Leader Harry Reid admitted that a deal to keep student loan interest rates from doubling to 6.8% before July 1st is unlikely. Several Senators continue to work to produce a last minute deal, including Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) who has been working with Senator Angus King (I-ME), an independent who caucuses with Democrats, and

House Defeats Farm Bill

The House voted down the farm bill by a vote of 195-234 early this afternoon. Sixty-two Republicans voted against the measure while 24 Democrats voted for the measure. With that, the House is adjourned for the week. It is unclear major legislation, including student loans or appropriations measures, that the House will consider next week.

House Proceeds on Farm Bill as White House Threatens Veto

The House will begin consideration of the Farm Bill (HR 1947) today and finish consideration on Thursday. While the House Rules Committee is still determining which amendments will be made in order, 220 amendments have been submitted to the Rules Committee.The House Rules Committee has proceeded with a rare two day consideration of the rule

House Proceeds on Farm Bill

This week, the House will consider its version of the Farm Bill (HR 1947) to authorize USDA programs for five years. The controversial measure is expected to be considered for the bulk of the week. Where the Senate passed a bipartisan Farm Bill earlier this year by 66–27, with 18 Republicans voting in favor, the House measure

House Tries to Force Vote on Student Loans

House Democrats are attempting to force a floor vote on a two-year extension of the current interest rate for federally subsidized student loans and avert a scheduled doubling of the rate on July 1, 2013. They hope to file a discharge petition if they get the support of a majority of members. This would force

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