Congress Passes Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act

On Friday Congress passed an altered version of the existing Post 9/11 GI Bill, which is designed to address issues that arose with the previous legislation. The updated bill will:  -  provide full tuition for those attending a public school in their home state and up to $17,500 in tuition payments for those attending private schools… Read More


Rep. Adam Smith Likely Ranking Member on House Armed Services

Yesterday, the Democratic Policy and Steering Committee voted to recommend that Washington Congressman Adam Smith serve as the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee. The vote essentially guarantees Congressman Smith the Ranking Member post in the 112th Congress. The Armed Services Committee has oversight of the operations of the Department of Defense as… Read More


Rep. Dicks Selected for Appropriations Post

Washington’s Norm Dicks is on course to serve as Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, after winning a vote of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee yesterday. The full Democratic caucus is expected to approve the nomination later today. The vote gives Cognressman Dicks the top minority party spot on the appropriations panel in the 112th… Read More


US Senate to Vote on Earmark Ban

The Senate postponed until this morning a vote on a measure that would ban all earmarks for the next three years. The chamber will vote on an amendment to food safety legislation proposed by Senator Coburn (R-OK) that would create a Senate rule effectively prohibiting the chamber from considering any measure containing earmarks.  Coburn’s amendment… Read More


First Week of Lame Duck Session Answers Little

Members of Congress returned to DC last week for a lame-duck session intended to address pressing issues, namely the need to finish the fiscal year 2011 appropriations process as well as to extend various tax cut provisions that expire at the end of the calendar year. Members spent the first week of the session largely… Read More


Leadership announced for 112th Congress

Congress completed their leadership elections last week, which will take effect in January at the beginning of the 112th Congress. In the House Speaker of the House: John Boehner (R-OH) Majority Leader: Eric Cantor (R-VA) Minority Leader: Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Majority Whip: Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) Minority Whip: Steny Hoyer (D-MD) In the Senate (no changes… Read More


Post-Election Legislative Agenda Uncertain

The mid-term congressional elections that took place on Tuesday, resulting in a Republican House majority and diminished Democratic Senate majority, will have a significant impact on issues of concern to the higher education community (FY11 appropriations, DREAM Act, COMPETES Act, tax policy) that were previously slated for consideration during the coming “lame-duck” session. The current… Read More


Senate may take action on the DREAM Act

After reporting on this site yesterday that the DREAM Act was all but dead for this year, the Senate Majority Leader announced that they will try to pass this measure that would grant citizenship to young adults in the country illegally.  Senate leadership hopes to attach the DREAM Act to the FY11 defense authorization bill, which is… Read More


Congress Comes Back to Work

Congress returns to work this week for a final few weeks of work before the November elections.  While there is plenty of legislating to do, I don’t expect that we’ll see much action with most major issues being delayed until the post-election lame-duck session.  The only thing that Congress MUST act on before October 1st… Read More


FY10 Supplemental Bill

House Democrats intend to bring a scaled back version of the FY10 supplemental spending bill to the floor by the end of this week, with aid to school districts to prevent teacher layoffs reduced from $23 billion to $10 billion.  The teacher funding is intended to help prevent layoffs for 140,000 school employees next year. … Read More