Federal Relations

Sequester Impacts

Today US Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) released a detailed analysis of the impact of sequestration on dozens of health, education and labor programs. The report includes State level information on funding cuts and details the impact in every State. The report will be featured at a rally this afternoon in DC with non-defense groups.  Read the report

Labor-HHS-Ed Bill Status

The House Appropriations Committee has not yet announced a full committee markup for its FY 2013 Labor-HHS-Education spending bill, and now many are raising doubts that it will ever do so. On Monday, Congressman Norm Dicks (D-WA), ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, expressed his belief that his GOP colleagues have “indefinitely postponed” further

Congress Talks CR, Appropriations, and Sequester

FY 2013 Continuing Resolution:  Several Republican lawmakers are advocating for an early vote on a stopgap spending bill for FY 2013 that would keep the government running into early next year, leaving contentious funding decisions for the next Congress. Most believe they are betting that they’ll have more power next year – possible control of

Education Provisions in House L-HHS-Ed Bill

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education released their draft FY 2013 appropriations bill this morning, with plans of a Subcommittee markup tomorrow (Wednesday) at 10:00am eastern time.  Highlights include: Pell Grants – The maximum Pell Grant award is increased to $5,635, mostly due to an authorized mandatory cost-of-living adjustment. Corporation for Public Broadcasting – The

House L-HHS-Ed Mark Up

The House is likely to mark up their Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill on July 18, although no official announcement has been made. The $150 billion bill is the only one of the 12 annual spending bills not yet approved by House appropriators. At $150 billion, the measure would be about $7 billion below current spending.

The Aftermath…

Both the House and Senate are in recess this week for the Fourth of July holiday.  Late last week, both chambers demonstrated that they can advance legislation by reauthorizing federal highway and transit programs for two years and preventing Stafford student loan interest rate increases.  Also last week, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care

Student Loans and Transportation Research

The House and Senate both will take action today on the conference agreement to HR 4348, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The agreement reauthorizes federal highway, transit, and other surface transportation programs through September 30, 2014, at current funding levels with inflationary increases for certain programs. It consolidates or

Deal Reached on Student Loans

On Tuesday, Senate leaders announced that they reached a deal to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, but they are still determining whether to attach that “deal” to a measure that would reauthorize highway programs, which is still being negotiated. Congress must take action on both issues –

Very Big Week in Congress

Today begins a very big week in Congress that could have huge consequences for the remainder of the calendar year.  First, the Supreme Court is expected to hand down its decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a ruling that will likely dominate the airwaves this week.  Second, Congress must deal with two critical legislative

Odds and Ends for the Week

Student Loan Interest Rates:  Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are getting close to a deal to prevent student loan rates from doubling on July 1st, from 3.4 percent up to 6.8 percent.  A deal could be announced as soon as today, although early next week seems more likely. The talks have

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