Federal Relations

June 27, 2012

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 –

June 25, 2012

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

June 22, 2012

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

June 12, 2012

Senate L-HHS-ED Appropriations

Earlier today, the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education Appropriations Subcommittee approved their FY 2013 appropriations measure by a vote of 10-7.  That bill would provide $158.8 billion in discretionary spending for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, as well as related agencies.  This is about $2 billion more

May 8, 2012

Student Loan Interest Rates

The Senate will take up a measure today that would prevent subsidized student loan interest rates from doubling this July.  While both parties agree that they want to stop the rate hike from going forward, Senate republican leadership indicated Monday that they will likely filibuster the democratic measure because it opposes the proposed offset.   Senate

May 7, 2012

This Week in Congress

Congress returns to work today after a week-long recess period.   The Senate convenes at 2:00pm and continues debate of the student loan interest rate bill.  The House is also in at 2:00pmwith votes expected around 6:30pm.  This afternoon, the House Budget Committee will mark up two bills:  The Sequester Replacement Act of 2012 (HR 4966)

April 23, 2012

Student Loan Interest Rates

President Obama used his weekly address to call on Congress to prevent student interest rates from doubling in July.  He believes that we should be doing everything we can to put higher education within reach for every American because “at a time when the unemployment rate for Americans with at least a college degree is

March 26, 2012

Ryan Budget Proposes Deeper Cuts to Student Financial Aid

Last week, Rep. Paul Ryan (WI), unveiled his FY2013 budget resolution calling for an overhaul to the tax code and deeper reductions in spending. Among Ryan’s proposals was limiting the growth of federal financial aid for college students, focusing it on low-income students. More specifically, Rep. Ryan proposes a budget that: Eliminates the in-school interest

February 17, 2012

FY13 Budget Supports Research, Student Aid

The Obama Administration’s FY13 budget, released on February 13, reflects a continuing commitment to increased federal investments in research and education.  The budget would increase funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF); the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science and ARPA-E; and the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) in the Department of Agriculture,

January 27, 2012

Obama proposes Race to the Top for College Affordability

Details are beginning to emerge on Obama’s proposal to make college affordable.  He spoke to this during his State of the Union address on Tuesday, and again today at an event at the University of Michigan.  US Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan has also been talking about this issue since late last year, and

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