Federal Relations

January 20, 2015

State of The Union

Tonight at 9 pm Eastern, 6 pm Pacific, President Obama is scheduled to give his 6th State of the Union address to Congress. The White House has been previewing certain initiatives, such as two years of free community college and paid sick leave, in advance of the speech tonight. Tonight, however, the crux of his speech is

January 15, 2015

House Passes DHS Appropriations and Raises Immigration Stakes

The House adjourned yesterday for the annual Republican retreat. But before they left, the House took steps to block major provisions of the president’s immigration policy announced in November of 2014. As an amendment to legislation funding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for FY15, the House passed a series of amendments effectively blocking Obama’s executive action to shield millions

January 9, 2015

White House Proposes Two Years of Free Community College

In advance of his State of the Union address, President Obama is traveling to Tennessee today to announce one of his keystones of his 2015 agenda: two free years of community college.  The proposal, called America’s College Promise, is based on Republican Governor Bill Haslam, who developed and launched Tennessee Promise, which begins this year. Tennessee Promise allows any

January 6, 2015

Getting to know the 114th Congress

Today, Tuesday, January 5th, kicks off the 114th year the United State’s federal government has met to legislate. Over the next two years, the Republican party will control both houses of Congress for the first time since President Obama took office in 2004. This Congress will be the largest Republican majority since 1928 when the party

To Do List for Congress in 2015

As the 114th Congress convenes, House and Senate leadership are facing a challenging timeline of To Dos or Must Dos in 2015. The House and Senate Republican leadership have announced their intentions to pass legislation to allow for the Keystone XL pipeline, reform our patent system, and overhaul the nation’s tax structure. However, any number of

Welcome 114th Congress! Oh, and it’s Snowing!

The 114th Congress convenes today under a blanket of snow in Washington, DC. While the snow is expected to taper off by midday, disagreements over budget priorities that have stymied Congress in recent years won’t go away so soon and are likely to lead to the first vetoes of appropriations bills in nearly a decade.

December 19, 2014

Sine Die on the 113th Congress

The 113th Congress came to a close on Wednesday December 17th. The House and Senate adjourned Sine Die, the House on Friday, December 12 and the Senate on late Tuesday, December 16th, officially ending the 113th Congress.The 114th Congress will convene on January 6th, 2015. President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion “cromnibus” spending bill Tuesday

September 19, 2014

Senate Passes CR, Adjourns Until Nov. 12

Last night the Senate passed a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government at current levels until December 11. The fiscal year ends on September 30, so passage of a CR was critical in avoiding a government shutdown on October 1. Following passage of the CR, Congress has adjourned until after the November elections.

September 17, 2014

HELP Committee Passes ESRA

This morning, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee marked up a bill to reauthorize the Education Sciences Reform Act or ESRA. The Senate Committee passed voice vote a bipartisan substitute amendment that closely tracks the House-passed version of this bill, H.R. 4366, the Strengthening Education through Research Act. The House passed the bill in March of

July 31, 2014

House Melts Down

In what was supposed to be the last series of votes before the August Recess, the House has pulled a vote for legislation that would fund the border crisis. Both an emergency funding measure and a measure  to limit the Deferred Action on Child Arrivals (DACA) program, for which consideration was dependent on the funding measure

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