Federal Relations

June 9, 2014

Cloture Filed on Student Loan Bill

Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)  filed a cloture motion on proceeding to the student loan bill (S 2432) that would allow borrowers to refinance their old student loans at the current lower interest rates. The cloture vote would occur on Wednesday. Cloture, under the Senate rules, ends debate on the bill and allows for final

Senate VA Reform Agreement Includes In-State Tuition Provisions

Late last week, Senators Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and John McCain (R-AZ) announced a deal to salvage sought-after Veterans Administration reform in the wake of the on-going VA scandal. The legislation would allow for the reform the Department of Veterans Affairs to expand veterans’ access to health care and make it easier to fire VA officials for misconduct.

Obama Aims to Ease Student Debt

President Obama announced today a new executive order aimed at easing student borrowers’ debt loads by capping repayments at 10 percent of their monthly income. Obama also made student loans the focus of his weekly address on Saturday, saying he’d be taking action this week. The executive order will expand on a 2010 law, the Bipartisan Student

The Week Ahead

This week lawmakers continue to debate FY2015 appropriations, student loans, and VA reform. Tonight, the House will vote on S. 1254, the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2013. The bill would authorize $20.5 million annually through 2018 for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to reduce the effects of

June 4, 2014

Senate Committees Hold Hearings on Student Loans

This morning Senators discussed student loans in two simultaneous committee hearings. The Senate Budget Committee, which is chaired by Washington State’s Senator Patty Murray, held a full committee hearing titled, “Impact of Student Loan Debt on Borrowers and the Economy.” Key witnesses in the hearing included representatives from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Student

May 21, 2014

ED Announces Plan College Ratings Timeframe

Today, the Department of Education (ED) announced a timeframe for rolling out the Administration’s proposed College Ratings system. In a post by Deputy Under Secretary Jamienne Studley entitled, “Making it Easier to Pick and Pay for College through Ratings“, the Administration announced that the college ratings system will be ready this Fall and a final

May 9, 2014

Larsen Introduces Bill to Protect Bereaved Student Borrowers

Today, Congressman Rick Larsen (D-WA) introduced the Bereaved Student Borrowers Act. The bill  is designed to protect grieving students and students facing family hardship from auto-defaulting on their private student loans and to get better access to information about cosigner release requirements. The bill also prohibits lenders from reporting an auto-default as a result of cosigner

April 1, 2014

Ryan Reveals House FY15 Budget

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled the House FY15 Budget today. The measure proposes to cut $5.1 trillion over a decade in a bid to erase the federal deficit, while calling once again for dramatic changes to Medicare, Medicaid, and the tax code. The House proposal would significantly reduce federal support for college access. The Ryan

February 5, 2014

Pell Grant Shortfall Delayed to FY2017

Yesterday the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014 to 2024. The deficit is expected to fall this year as the economy gains steam, but CBO also anticipates that increasing health care costs and higher payments on the national debt mean that those gains will not last. The deficit estimate sets

November 12, 2013

This Week in Congress

Below is an overview of relevant House and Senate committee hearings and markups on the schedule this week. WEDNESDAY, November 13th House Education and the Workforce Federal Student Aid 10am, 2175 Rayburn Full Committee Hearing Joint Economic Fiscal 2014 Budget 10am, 1100 Longworth Conference Committee Meeting THURSDAY, November 14th Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

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