Federal Relations

On the Hill

January 13, 2016

Final Obama State of the Union

In his final State of the Union address, President Obama hit a range of topics, from climate change, curing cancer, reforming criminal sentencing, campaign finance reform, and Cuba. The President made a pointed appeal for congressional cooperation this year on only a handful of legislative matters. None were the sort of bold new proposals that would have…

January 12, 2016

State of the Union, Tonight

President Obama will address a joint session of Congress this evening in the annual State of the Union Address. It will be Obama’s seventh and final State of the Union address. Typically, the final address is used as a roadmap for the party and the presidential election to come (or already in full swing), and…

December 16, 2015

Omnibus Released

House Republican Leadership released the long-awaited FY 2016 omnibus appropriations and tax extenders package late last night. The $1.15 trillion, 2,009-page package was delayed until just after 1:30 a.m. Wednesday after party leaders spent Tuesday swapping final offers. House Republican Leadership initially said they would adhere to the GOP’s “three-day rule,” releasing the package on Tuesday…

December 4, 2015

Senate Clears Highway Bill, On to Obama

Last night, the Senate cleared the $305 billion surface transportation reauthorization revealed this week. This is the first five-year highway and transit reauthorization Congress has passed since 2005.The bill also includes a four-year extension of the Export-Import Bank charter, through fiscal 2019. The measure passed by a 83-16 vote. Passage of the highway and transit bill comes one…

November 19, 2015

House and Senate Recess for Thanksgiving

The Senate shelved consideration of the FY2016 Transportation-HUD spending bill after Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) blocked progress on two transportation-related amendments and demanded consideration of his amendment  to bar assistance to refugees from certain countries. Senate Leadership announced there will be no more votes this week in the Senate, opening the door to the Thanksgiving recess. Earlier…

November 6, 2015

Ed Takes Aim at Accreditors

Today, Dept. of Education officials announced a series of actions centering on transparency in an effort to force accreditors to focus more on student outcomes and hold failing colleges accountable. For the most part, the accrediting agencies will not be required to change their practices. Instead, ED hopes to drive change by publishing and disseminating…

October 30, 2015

Senate Passes Budget Around 3 am

The Senate cleared a bipartisan budget and debt limit accord early Friday morning which would send the legislation to the President’s desk. Roughly 72 hours after it was unveiled and buying roughly two years of relative budgetary stability after months of partisan sniping on spending, the Senate passed HR1314 shortly after 3 am. The House…

October 29, 2015

Senate to Consider Budget Deal at 1 AM

Not all Congressional work is hearings, fundraisers, cocktail parties. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced today that the Senate was on track to pass the budget deal. If there were no procedural issues, the vote is expected to occur at 1am Friday morning.

Ryan Elected as Speaker

Boehner has given his farewell and ends his five-year tenure in the bio. The House has elected Rep. Paul D. Ryan, a 45-year-old Republican, to Speaker.

House Approves Budget Deal

The House on Wednesday passed a two-year budget package that includes a suspension of the debt ceiling by a vote of 266-167. As has become custom, the measure passed with minimal Republican support: 187 Democrats voted for the measure but only 79 Republicans did. The measure now moves to the Senate, which could take it…

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