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Federal Relations

On the Hill


June 12, 2013

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…


June 10, 2013

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:…


June 6, 2013

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…


June 4, 2013

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…


June 3, 2013

This Week in Congress

An overview of relevant House and Senate committee hearings and markups on the schedule this week: TUESDAY, June 4th Senate Appropriations 2014 Appropriations: Transportation, HUD Subcommittee Hearing 2:30 pm, 138 Dirksen House Science, Space, & Technology STEM Education Reorganization Full Committee Hearing 2 pm, 2318 Rayburn WEDNESDAY, June 5th Senate Appropriations 2014 Appropriations: Defense Subcommittee…


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…


May 23, 2013

House Passes HR 1911

The House just approved the bill HR 1911, the Smarter Solutions for Students Act. The bill passed by a vote of 221 to 198 — largely by party lines: 8 Republicans voted against the bill while 4 Democrats supported it. Before the vote, several higher education associations agreed to be listed as supporters of the legislation,…


May 20, 2013

Senate focuses on Farm Bill and House focuses on Student Loans for the bulk of the week

The Senate and House continue to work though legislation that respective committees addressed last week. The full Senate will consider the Farm Bill (S 954), which the Senate Agriculture Committee passed last week. The Farm Bill reauthorization , which would overhaul farm subsidies and food stamp programs, is expected to be considered by the Senate for…



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