Federal Relations

House Begins Work on National Defense Authorization Bill

The House will begin its work on the HR 1960, the National Defense Authorization Bill (NDAA) today. Consideration of the measure is expected to go through tomorrow. The NDAA is the yearly authorization bill that determines military priorities for agencies responsible for our national defense. The legislation establishes funding levels, and sets the policies under which

Immigration, Defense Authorization, and FY14 Appropriations — Oh My!

Today in the Senate: The chamber meets this morning to continue debating a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws (S 744). Today in the House: The chamber is scheduled to begin general debate on a $638.4 billion defense authorization bill (HR 1960) for FY14 that includes funding and/or language for three of UW’s requests: (1) $15

Senate Passes Bipartisan Farm Bill

This evening, the Senate passed S. 954, the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013, by a vote of 66 to 27. Eighteen Republican Senators voted for the measure. Last Thursday, the Senate voted 75  to 22 to invoke cloture (limit further debate) on the bill and members of the Senate unanimously agreed that

Budget Update

Both the House and Senate are in session this week; just three more weeks of work before they break for the Fourth of July week. This week the House will take up the annual defense authorization bill, while the Senate completes work on its version of the farm bill and considers immigration legislation. FY14 Appropriations:

Student Loan Bills Fail in Senate

This morning, the Senate took up both S 953, the Reed-Harkin-Reid-Murray two year extension of 3.4% interest rate on student loans and the Senate Republican alternative, S 1003, sponsored by Senators Tom Colburn and Lamar Alexander.  The Senate Republican bill would have tied student loan interest rates to the 10-year Treasury note rate plus 3

Today in Congress: Student Loan Bills

The Senate is in at 9:00am and will hold three procedural votes on the farm bill and two rival bills to keep interest rates low for student loans. It’s not certain either can clear the 60-vote threshold in the Senate. The Republican-led House already has taken action on loans – and drawn a veto threat

Senate Moves to Add Student Loans Fix to Farm Bill

The Senate continues to consider the Farm Bill this week. More than 200 amendments are pending consideration to the Farm Bill, including S953, known as the Reed, Harkin, Reid, Murray bill which would would increase taxes on multinational corporations to pay for a two-year extension for student loans at 3.4 percent. Senate Democratic leadership added

September Stalemate on FY14 Appropriations

Members of Congress return to DC this week to take on the farm bill, try to keep student loan interest rates from doubling on July 1st, and continue with the FY14 appropriations process. And while immigration reform is still being debated, some are now skeptical that the House and Senate can come get to a

Veto threat to HR 1911, Smarter Solutions for Students Act

As we have previously posted, the House is slated to consider HR 1911, the Smarter Solutions for Students Act on Thursday of this week or tomorrow. Yesterday, Education Secretary Duncan all but endorsed the legislation. While the House Rules Committee has yet to meet and determine how to proceed and what amendments will be made

Secretary Duncan advocates long-term student interest rate solution

Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, testified before the House Committee on Education and Workforce today. During the hearing, House Chairman Klein specifically asked Secretary Duncan to clarify the Administration’s position on the student loan issue. The Republican attempted to elicit an endorsement from Duncan of their bill, HR 1911, the Smarter Solutions for Students Act,

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