Federal Relations

Larsen Introduces Bill to Protect Bereaved Student Borrowers

Today, Congressman Rick Larsen (D-WA) introduced the Bereaved Student Borrowers Act. The bill  is designed to protect grieving students and students facing family hardship from auto-defaulting on their private student loans and to get better access to information about cosigner release requirements. The bill also prohibits lenders from reporting an auto-default as a result of cosigner

Welcome Back Congress!

Members of Congress return to Washington, DC today after a two-week recess period. Today marks a nine-week work period where at least one chamber will be in session. But the House will recess again in two weeks, the Senate will take off all of Memorial Day week, and the House will take another recess the

Senate Passes House Bill to Raise Debt Ceiling

With an impending snow storm as a powerful motivator, the Senate passed the House’s bill to suspend the debt ceiling until March 15, 2015 by a vote of 55-42. Earlier this week, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas vowed to filibuster the measure since the House Republicans “caved to President Obama” and were unable extract to

House Passes Clean Bill to Raise Debt Ceiling

With a vote of 221-201 , the House voted to suspendthe debt limit for one year without requiring any offsets. Earlier this week, the House had floated the idea of adding military COLA pay to the measure, but ultimately that proposal and other additions were squashed. The measure narrowly passed and only passed with the help of

Senate HELP Committee Approves Cordova for NSF

The Senate HELP Committee met in an Executive Session today and approved several Presidential nominations including Dr. Frances Cordova to be the Director of NSF. The HELP Committee approved Dr. Cordova’s nomination last year (December 18, 2013).  With a new year, the Committee must approve her nomination once again.  From here, Dr. Cordova’s nomination will

SOTU Tonight

Tonight President Obama will deliver the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at 9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT. He is expected to talk about a package of largely recycled proposals that would, among other things, raise the minimum wage, overhaul immigration laws, and authorize new infrastructure spending. He’ll also use the State

Farm Bill Conference Report Announced

After two years of negotiating, Farm bill conferees announced a sweeping, bipartisan five-year farm bill late Monday. The measure costs an estimated $1.1 trillion and is filled with trade-offs and an estimated savings of nearly $23 billion. The bulk of savings comes from cutting $19 billion from farm programs, including an end to direct payments

McMorris Rogers to Give GOP Response to the State of the Union

Washington’s Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the highest-ranking Republican woman in the House of Representatives, will deliver the GOP response to President Obama’s State of the Union address next Tuesday. McMorris Rodgers currently serves as chairwoman of the House Republican conference, which is the fourth-ranking position in leadership. She will be the first woman to deliver

White House to Release Budget March 4th

The White House announced today that it will release the Administration’s FY 2015 budget proposal on March 4. The Administration had been waiting on Congress to finalize FY 2014 appropriations before having the Office of Management and Budget move fully ahead with the Administration’s FY2015 Budget proposal. With House and Senate finalizing FY 2014 with the

White House Establishes Task Force to Combat Sexual Assault on Campuses

The Obama administration is beefing up a commitment to combating sexual violence on college campuses with the creation of a new task force and release of a new report Wednesday from the White House Council on Women and Girls. Nearly one in five women have been raped in their lifetimes, and alcohol and drug use are exacerbating

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