Federal Relations

On the Hill


July 8, 2015

House Passes ESEA

This evening, the House further considered and passed HR 5, the Student Success Act, which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The House voted on ten amendments for which recorded votes were already requested in February 2015 and considered four new amendments, as well as a Democratic motion to recommit. The bill passed by…


July 7, 2015

House and Senate Consider Elementary Education Proposals

Dueling education proposals are up in the House and the Senate this week. Eight years after No Child Left Behind (NCLB) officially expired, congressional leaders want to pass a rewrite of the main federal K-12 education law (ESEA) that can get President Obama’s signature. Today, the Senate will begin consideration of S 1177, Every Child Achieves Act of…


June 29, 2015

Fourth of July Recess

Both the House and Senate are in using the Fourth of July as a district work period. Congress will return Monday, July 6th to continue working on the FY16 Appropriations process! Happy Fourth of July!


June 25, 2015

Senate Appropriations Committee Passes FY16 Labor-H

Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed it’s FY16 Labor-H bill by a vote of 16-14. The Senate draft would cut spending from the 2015 enacted level by almost $4 billion to $153 billion and is $14.5 billion below President Barack Obama’s request. The bill would eliminate funding for the Independent Payment Advisory Board, created by the 2010 health…


June 24, 2015

House Committee Passes FY16 Labor-H

The House Appropriations Committee passed it’s FY16 Labor-H bill by a vote of 30-21. The passage came after hours of debate during which Democrats bitterly criticized funding levels for domestic discretionary accounts and saw a series of their amendments defeated. The bill is $3.7 billion below fiscal 2015 enacted levels and $14.6 billion below President Barack Obama’s…


White House Issues Veto Threat on House’s FY16 House Interior and OMB Letter on FY16 Labor-H Appropriations Bill

As discussed yesterday, the House’s FY16 Interior appropriations bill contained significant cuts and policy riders which would be of serious concern to the White House. Accordingly, the White House has issued a Statement of Administrative Policy (SAP) about the House’s draft bill, which includes a veto threat. Additionally, the OMB Director Donovan wrote a letter on the House’s…


June 23, 2015

House to Consider FY16 Interior Bill

The House is expected to consider their FY16 Interior-Enviornment Appropriations bill for the bulk of this week. The $30.2 billion Interior-Environment spending bill will take center stage as the House is scheduled to consider the controversial measure on the Floor, possibly for long hours with many amendments. The typically contentions bill is particularly so this year…


More Details on House FY16 Labor-H

The House Appropriations Committee posted the committee report to their FY16 Labor, HHS, and Education (Labor-H) appropriations bill today giving additional insight to the legislation passed earlier last week. The bill provides a new maximum Pell award of $5,915 but discretionary funding is down $370 million. They take this money from the current surplus. The committee report states (page 133):…


June 18, 2015

Senate Passes NDAA, but FY16 Defense Funding Stalls

The Senate passed the unusually contentious FY16 NDAA, by a vote of 71-25, today. The Senate had planned to move ahead to tackling Defense Appropriations on the Floor, but the measure failed to receive 60 votes needed to invoke cloture and proceed.  As a reminder, the President has issued a veto threat on the bill and Senate Democrats have promised to…


FY2016 Labor-HHS Bill Moves Through Subcommittee

The House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee approved its FY2016 spending bill by voice vote, with all Democrats voting against the proposal. The panel earlier had rejected a dozen amendments in a series of voice votes, with partisan splits apparent over family planning and the implementation of the 2010 health law. However, members of both parties made…



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