Federal Relations

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

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

June 19, 2014

FY 2015 Appropriations Process in Question

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) effectively ended debate for now on the FY 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations after he was unable to reach an agreement with Republicans over amendments. The CJS bill funds NSF, Census, NIJ and other agencies. The CJS bill, which was being considered as part of

June 5, 2014

Senate Confirms Burwell

Today, the Senate voted 78-17 to confirm Sylvia Mathews Burwell as secretary of Health and Human Services. Burwell replaces Kathleen Sebelius, who stepped down earlier this year. 

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