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Federal Relations


January 28, 2014

Farm Bill Conference Report Announced

After two years of negotiating, Farm bill conferees announced a sweeping, bipartisan five-year farm bill late Monday. The measure costs an estimated $1.1 trillion and is filled with trade-offs and an estimated savings of nearly $23 billion. The bulk of savings comes from cutting $19 billion from farm programs, including an end to direct payments…

January 27, 2014

UW Tacoma Chancellor Debra Friedman

Last night, University of Washington Tacoma Chancellor Debra Friedman passed away after a long battle with lung cancer. She was 58. In just two-and-a-half years at UW Tacoma, Chancellor Friedman brought into sharp focus an identity for UW Tacoma as an urban-serving campus, building on the substantial investment the region has always made in its…

December 11, 2013

House to Consider Budget Deal Thursday

The House Leadership is expected to consider the Budget deal on Thursday. Although there have been small rumblings of discontent by some Republican House Members with the deal because it does allow funding over Sequester levels, the measure is expected to pass the House. The Senate will consider it soon after.

October 29, 2013

This Week in Congress

Below is an overview of relevant House and Senate committee hearings and markups on the schedule this week. It’s a short list – in the post-shutdown world, Congress is currently only focusing on a select handful of issues. WEDNESDAY, October 30, 2013 Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions HELP Legislation and Nominations Full Committee Markup…

October 15, 2013

Shutdown & Debt Limit: Two Chambers, Two Competing Proposals

While discussions are happening and proposals are beginning to take shape, there still is not a clear solution that will reopen the government or raise the debt ceiling before we hit the current limit on Thursday. Senate leaders have been negotiating a deal for the past couple of days and appeared to be somewhat close…

October 14, 2013

Shutdown Day 14: Days Before Debt Limit Deadline and No Deal in Sight

Senate leaders Harry Reid (D-NV) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) continued negotiations over the weekend – searching for a deal that would raise the debt limit and reopen the government, but emerged with no deal in sight yet. A bipartisan group of 12 Senators are also currently in-closed door meetings this morning trying to work out…

October 3, 2013

House Democrats Introduce Comprehensive Immigration Reform

A group of House Democrats yesterday – led by Washington’s 1st District Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, released a comprehensive immigration reform bill. The legislation, called the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act largely reflects the bipartisan Senate bill. Among other things, the plan: Contains much of the same language from the Senate bill that…

September 23, 2013

OMB Issues Guidance to Agencies: Start Planning for Possible Government Shutdown

With the end of the fiscal year just days away and no sign of a funding agreement in congress, Office of Management and Budget Director, Sylvia Burwell, issued a memo last week to heads of executive departments and agencies to begin planning for a government shutdown. The memo urged departments and agencies to update plans…

September 17, 2013

Senate HELP Committee Announce Launch of HEA Hearings

Chairman Harkin and Ranking Member Lamar Alexander today announced that they are launching a round of Higher Education Act (HEA) Reauthorization hearings over the next several months. The hearings will address a host of education issues and each hearing will have a specified focus. The Senators also issued a call for input from the higher…

August 29, 2013

Obama’s Plan for College Affordability

Last Thursday and Friday, President Obama toured several colleges and universities touting a new plan for higher education access and affordability. The Offices of Planning & Budgeting and Federal Relations prepared a brief with additional information about this plan.

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