Federal Relations

Student Aid

January 19, 2018

Shut Down Likely

At midnight tonight, the Continuing Resolution passed in December 2017 will expire. Presently, it does not look like Congress will be able to agree on a short or long term funding solution, and a shutdown is highly likely. Agencies are circulating memos advising staff how to proceed in the high likelihood there is a shutdown…

December 13, 2017

House Committee Clears HEA Reauthorization Bill

In a marathon markup session that lasted well into the evening, the House Education and the Workforce Committee cleared yesterday the PROSPER Act (H.R. 4508), its version of the bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA), by a vote 23 to 17.  A copy of the bill is available here. During the session, approximately 60…

May 25, 2017

ED’s COO of Finanical Aid Quits

Tuesday night, James Runcie, chief operating officer of the Office of Federal Student Aid, quit \over what he said were simmering management problems at the agency that culminated in a dispute with DeVos over her insistence that he testify Wednesday before a congressional oversight panel. Politico has the story. 

May 10, 2017

Student Loan Rates to Increase

The cost of borrowing money from the federal government to pay for college will increase in the coming academic year. The interest rates on new federal student loans are set to jump by more than two-thirds of a percentage point following the U.S. Treasury Department’s sale today of 10-year notes, which is the government security…

May 1, 2017

FY 2017 Omnibus Released

At 2 am last night, House and Senate appropriators released the FY 2017 Omnibus, which  comprises the 11 unfinished FY 2017 appropriations bills, providing fresh spending instructions for nearly every corner of the federal government and formally appropriates more than $1 trillion in discretionary spending for FY 2017, in keeping with the spending limits agreed…

March 16, 2017

America First Budget Released

The Trump Administration released its first budget, called the American First Budget this morning. Coming in at 62 pages total, the “America First” budget blueprint is what is known as a “skinny budget” is somewhat scant on details. The budget’s main theme is doing more with less by eliminating “nonfunctioning” or duplicative programs and wasteful spending; streamlining federal…

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…

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