Federal Relations

January 11, 2011

Pell Grant Cuts on the Table Says Key Senator

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) (former Secretary of Education under President George H.W. Bush) is quoted in today’s Congressional Quarterly as stating that cuts to the Pell Grant program, along with the rest of the domestic discretionary budget, are on the table as Congress now attempts to reduce spending through the FY11 and FY12 appropriations processes. In

December 20, 2010

Congress Passes Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act

On Friday Congress passed an altered version of the existing Post 9/11 GI Bill, which is designed to address issues that arose with the previous legislation. The updated bill will:  –  provide full tuition for those attending a public school in their home state and up to $17,500 in tuition payments for those attending private schools

December 8, 2010

Pell Grant Fix in House CR (Updated)

**12/9 Update A year-long CR passed the House on 12/8. The legislation includes $5.7 billion to close a shortfall in the Pell Grant program. The process now continues in the Senate. CR Summary** The House of Representatives is preparing two options for a closeout of the FY11 appropriations process. One option is a year-long continuing

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

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