Federal Relations

Student Aid


February 7, 2017

DeVos Confirmed

Today, the Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. The vote was 51-50 — a tie that forced Vice President Mike Pence to cast the deciding vote. The Vice President has never had to cast the deciding ballot in a confirmation vote before. DeVos becomes the nation’s 11th Secretary of Education after long and contentious…


January 5, 2017

Domestic Policy Council, Staff Announcements

Trump has announced his Domestic Policy Team. Andrew Bremberg, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council — Andrew Bremberg worked at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2001 to 2009, including serving as the Chief of Staff for the Office of Public Health and Science. He later served as Policy Advisor and Counsel…


December 2, 2016

Foxx to be Chair of House Education and Workforce Cmte, Trump’s Ed Landing Team

With approval of the full Republican conference, the House Republican Steering Committee has selected Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) as the chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce in the 115th Congress.  She grew up in Appalachia without power and running water and began working as a weaver at age 12 to help…


November 23, 2016

DeVos to be ED Secretary

President-elect Donald Trump is nominating Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary. A billionaire GOP donor, she also once served as head of the Michigan Republican Party. DeVos is a vocal advocate of allowing parents to use school vouchers to seek alternative schools and other policies strongly opposed by teachers unions. She is the current chairwoman of the…


September 20, 2016

DeVry Commits to 85/15 Revenue Threshold

Today, one of the nation’s largest purveyors of for-profit higher education, the DeVry Education Group, made a commitment to limit how much revenue it receives from federal student aid to 85 percent. Federal law stipulates that no more than 90 percent of revenue originate from federal aid. The move is broadly viewed as a response…


July 18, 2016

Off to Convention

Congress has left town for its seven-week summer recess, having made progress on considering FY 2017 appropriations measures, but both chambers left town without a clear path forward. For the first time in many years (since FY 2010), the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have approved all 12 of their respective FY17 appropriations bills, although none…


July 7, 2016

House Committee Moves Forward with Labor-H

The House Appropriations subcommittee marked up the FY 2017 Labor-H appropriations measure today. The legislation includes funding for programs within the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, and other related agencies. No report language has been released, so details of the bill will likely remain unclear until full committee…


June 10, 2016

Labor-HHS-Ed Passes Senate Appropriations

This week the Senate Committee on Appropriations took action on the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations measure.  Most notably, the measure provides a $2 billion bump for the National Institutes of Health and restores year-round Pell Grants.  National Institutes of Health is funded at $34 billion in the proposal, a 6.3% increase above FY2016. This includes: $300 million for the Precision Medicine Initiative,…


June 7, 2016

Senate Subcommittee Passes FY 2017 Labor-H

Today, the Senate appropriations subcommittee approved the first bipartisan Labor-H funding bill since Obamacare became law more than six years ago. The Senate’s FY 2017 bill includes a $2 billion increase for NIH (the same as the FY 2016 increase), a near doubling of funding to fight the opioid epidemic to $261 million, and $7.1 billion for…


May 16, 2016

ED Unveils Pell Dual Enrollment Pilot Program

The Department of Education unveiled its plan to allow dual enrollments in the Pell grant program today. The plan, which would take place in the 2016-2017 school year, would allow high school students, who are Pell-eligible, to pay for and enroll in college classes using Pell Grant funds. At a cost of $20 million, this…



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