Federal Relations

June 4, 2013

Senate Moves to Add Student Loans Fix to Farm Bill

The Senate continues to consider the Farm Bill this week. More than 200 amendments are pending consideration to the Farm Bill, including S953, known as the Reed, Harkin, Reid, Murray bill which would would increase taxes on multinational corporations to pay for a two-year extension for student loans at 3.4 percent. Senate Democratic leadership added

May 23, 2013

House Passes HR 1911

The House just approved the bill HR 1911, the Smarter Solutions for Students Act. The bill passed by a vote of 221 to 198 — largely by party lines: 8 Republicans voted against the bill while 4 Democrats supported it. Before the vote, several higher education associations agreed to be listed as supporters of the legislation,

May 22, 2013

Veto threat to HR 1911, Smarter Solutions for Students Act

As we have previously posted, the House is slated to consider HR 1911, the Smarter Solutions for Students Act on Thursday of this week or tomorrow. Yesterday, Education Secretary Duncan all but endorsed the legislation. While the House Rules Committee has yet to meet and determine how to proceed and what amendments will be made

May 21, 2013

Secretary Duncan advocates long-term student interest rate solution

Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, testified before the House Committee on Education and Workforce today. During the hearing, House Chairman Klein specifically asked Secretary Duncan to clarify the Administration’s position on the student loan issue. The Republican attempted to elicit an endorsement from Duncan of their bill, HR 1911, the Smarter Solutions for Students Act,

May 20, 2013

Senate focuses on Farm Bill and House focuses on Student Loans for the bulk of the week

The Senate and House continue to work though legislation that respective committees addressed last week. The full Senate will consider the Farm Bill (S 954), which the Senate Agriculture Committee passed last week. The Farm Bill reauthorization , which would overhaul farm subsidies and food stamp programs, is expected to be considered by the Senate for

May 16, 2013

House Committee Moves on Student Loan Fix

Today, the House Education and the Workforce Committee marked up and two measures on to improve college costs and data transparency. The committee modestly amended and approved HR 1911, the Smarter Solutions for Students Act by a vote of 24-13, which ran largely along party lines. The amended HR 1911 would peg interest rates on all

May 13, 2013

Charting the student loan interest rate proposals

As the Office of Federal Relations continues to track the proposals and progress made on legislation affecting the student loan interest rate, below is a chart highlighting the proposals to date and major proposals. Options continue to multiply as the July 1 deadline raising the 3.4 percent interest rate to 6.4 percent is quickly approaching.

May 10, 2013

Progress on Student Loan Interest Rate Bill

Although both chambers are in recess today, there’s plenty of behind-the-scenes legislating and negotiating. House lawmakers plan to release a draft 2013 farm bill that’s expected to produce $38 billion in savings over a decade. Across the Capitol, Senate Democrats are looking for ways to advance President Obama’s nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency

April 11, 2013

Summary of President’s FY14 Budget Request

Yesterday, President Obama released his FY14 budget request — nearly two months later than required by law. Much of the delay was blamed on the sequester and the prolonged FY13 appropriations process that resulted in a year-long continuing resolution (CR). In a typical year, the President’s Budget Request (PBR) kicks off the annual appropriations season,

February 14, 2013

President Proposes Linking Federal Aid to Performance

Yesterday, President Obama released “The President’s Plan for a Strong Middle Class and a Strong America” as a follow up to his State of the Union address on Tuesday. While the President focused on a few higher education messages during his speech, mainly his College Scorecard, his nine-page document released yesterday laid out a plan

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