Federal Relations

March 19, 2015

House Budget Bill — Update

After a marathon markup that ran late into the evening, the House Republicans passed the bill out of the Budget Committee along a party line vote this morning. Late last night, the House Republican caucus seemed sharply divided between defense hawks and those committed to cutting spending. According to an analysis from the Committee for Education Funding,

March 17, 2015

House Budget Released

House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) released the House Republican budget draft today, which in recent years has been largely a political document. The House Democrats are expected to release a competing draft soon. The federal budget, while it does not become law, does have to pass both chambers of Congress and will guide the House and Senate

March 10, 2015

POTUS Announces Student Aid Bill of Rights

Today, President Barack Obama plans to unveil a “Student Aid Bill of Rights” designed to allow everyone to access and pay for quality higher education at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. An accompanying Presidential Memorandum contains several directives to federal agencies that officials say will make loan repayment easier and more equitable. While details are not fully known,

January 30, 2015

Pell Grant Levels Announced

The Department of Education announced the maximum Pell grant levels for 2015-2016 today. The agency said the maximum award amount will be $5,775, which is an increase of $45 over the 2014-2015 award maximum. The amount is affected by the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA), which was incorporated as part of Public Law 111-152.

January 28, 2015

President Obama Drops Controversial 529 Plan

President Obama has officially dropped the proposal outlined in his recent State of the Union Address that would eliminate the tax advantage of 529 investment programs after facing severe push-back from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and parents across the country. Per the proposal, any money earned from future contributions to 529 college

January 9, 2015

White House Proposes Two Years of Free Community College

In advance of his State of the Union address, President Obama is traveling to Tennessee today to announce one of his keystones of his 2015 agenda: two free years of community college.  The proposal, called America’s College Promise, is based on Republican Governor Bill Haslam, who developed and launched Tennessee Promise, which begins this year. Tennessee Promise allows any

December 10, 2014

FY15 Appropriations Released

Last night, House and Senate Appropriators unveiled a $1.1 trillion spending package that is a combination of all but one of the Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15) appropriations bills rolled into an omnibus for the remainder for FY15, plus a continuing resolution (CR) funding the Department of Homeland Security through February 2015. The FY15 appropriations package, dubbed

July 31, 2014

Senate Passes VA and Transportation Bill

The Senate has passed two key pieces of legislation clearing them for the President’s signature. The Senate has passed legislation overhauling the scandalized Department of Veterans Affairs, by a vote of  91-3. The House considered the measure earlier in the week. The measure contains provisions expanding Graduate Medical Education at VA Hospitals as well as

July 30, 2014

House Considers VA Conference Report

Both the House and Senate intend to bring to the floor this week a conference agreement to reform the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and increase transparency and services in the Department of Veterans Administration (VA). The House will be the first to consider, what has been a delicate and sometimes contentious agreement to create, the conference

July 25, 2014

Rep. Ryan Anti-Poverty Plan and Higher Education

On Thursday, House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced what he is calling  a new anti-poverty plan that proposes sweeping changes to the safety net through a state-led pilot program. Announced at the the conservative American Enterprise Institute, Ryan’s plan calls for streamlining the student-aid system, capping federal loans to parents and graduate students, a database for tracking recipients of

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