Federal Relations

November 24, 2010

First Week of Lame Duck Session Answers Little

Members of Congress returned to DC last week for a lame-duck session intended to address pressing issues, namely the need to finish the fiscal year 2011 appropriations process as well as to extend various tax cut provisions that expire at the end of the calendar year. Members spent the first week of the session largely

November 4, 2010

Post-Election Legislative Agenda Uncertain

The mid-term congressional elections that took place on Tuesday, resulting in a Republican House majority and diminished Democratic Senate majority, will have a significant impact on issues of concern to the higher education community (FY11 appropriations, DREAM Act, COMPETES Act, tax policy) that were previously slated for consideration during the coming “lame-duck” session. The current

October 27, 2010

Pell Grant Funding on Post-Election Agenda

On November 15th, it is expected that Members of Congress will return to DC to address unfinished legislation before adjourning for the year. Several items of note are likely to considered, including additional funding to fill a shortfall in the Pell grant program. The anticipated $5.7 billion shortfall was created by increased student eligibility for

September 28, 2010

Short-term CR Advances, Pell Shortfall Left Out

With fiscal year 2011 set to begin on Friday October 1st and none of the 12 spending bills yet signed into law, Congress will need to pass a continuing resolution (CR) in order to keep the government functioning. A CR typically funds government operations on a temporary basis, at the previous year’s spending levels, in

July 23, 2010

DREAM Act May be Pushed Before November

With it being an election year, many lawmakers have been avoiding the politically charged topic of comprehensive immigration reform, making it unlikely that it will advance before the end of the year. However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) may attempt to push through the DREAM Act as a stand-alone piece of legislation before the

June 30, 2010

FY10 Supplemental Bill

House Democrats intend to bring a scaled back version of the FY10 supplemental spending bill to the floor by the end of this week, with aid to school districts to prevent teacher layoffs reduced from $23 billion to $10 billion.  The teacher funding is intended to help prevent layoffs for 140,000 school employees next year. 

June 7, 2010

Congress Returns to Unfinished Business

Congress returns this week from its one-week Memorial Day recess with the Senate ready to take up the House-passed “extenders” bill, while the House determines their next move on the FY10 supplemental bill. Tax Extenders:  The tax extenders measure (HR 4213) under consideration in the Senate includes a number of important program authorities that expired

April 29, 2010

Immigration Reform Framework Released

Despite the absence of any support from the minority party, which will be necessary to advance a bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and two of his colleagues — Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) — have released a rough framework for comprehensive immigration reform. The outline serves as a starting point for public discussions

April 1, 2010

NASFAA Releases FAQs on New Student Aid Law

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) has released a Frequently Asked Questions (and answers) web page on the student aid provisions of the recently signed Budget Reconciliation Act of 2010. The NASFAA site can be accessed here.

March 31, 2010

President Signs Health and Student Aid Reconciliation Bill

Yesterday, President Obama signed a bill of “fixes,” worked out between the House and Senate, to the health insurance reform bill that was signed into law last week. The changes, advanced as part of a budget reconciliation package, included the much anticipated overhaul of the federal student loan programs. The March Federal Report, provided on the right-side

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