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Federal Relations

On the Hill


January 6, 2015

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…


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…


July 23, 2014

Senate to Introduce COMPETES Reauthorization This Week

We expect Senator John Rockefeller (D-WV) will introduce the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2014 later this week. A discussion draft of this five-year reauthorization bill has been circulated and many provisions in the bill are reminiscent of the COMPETES Acts of 2007 and 2010.


June 30, 2014

The Week Ahead

Both the House and Senate are in recess for the 4th of July. The Senate will return July 7th and the House will return July 8th.


June 26, 2014

Senate HELP Considers Campus Sexual Assault

Today, the Senate Committee on Heath, Education, Labor and Pensions held a hearing on campus sexual assault. The hearing had robust participation by Chairman Harkin (D-IA) and the full committee, including Senator Murray.    To view the hearing, click here.  


June 25, 2014

Higher Ed Legislation Advances

Today Senate HELP Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) will introduce his plan to reauthorize the Higher Education Act. The Higher Education Affordability Act focuses on four goals: Increasing college affordability, helping struggling borrowers, strengthening accountability, and improving transparency. These goals will be achieved through 21 action points, including tightening for-profit regulations, better accountability metrics for colleges…



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