July 31, 2014

Senate Passes VA and Transportation Bill

The Senate has passed two key pieces of legislation clearing them for the President’s signature. The Senate has passed legislation overhauling the scandalized Department of Veterans Affairs, by a vote of  91-3. The House considered the measure earlier in the week. The measure contains provisions expanding Graduate Medical Education at VA Hospitals as well as… Read More


House Melts Down

In what was supposed to be the last series of votes before the August Recess, the House has pulled a vote for legislation that would fund the border crisis. Both an emergency funding measure and a measure  to limit the Deferred Action on Child Arrivals (DACA) program, for which consideration was dependent on the funding measure… Read More


July 30, 2014

House Passes VA Conference Report

The conference report to accompany H.R. 3230 (reported earlier on the Federal Affairs Blog) was adopted by the House – 420 Yeas, 5 Nays. The Senate is expected to pass it later this week.


McCaskill Introduces Sexual Assault Legislation

Today US Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) is introducing The Bipartisan Campus Accountability and Safety Act. The legislation will address sexual assault on college and university campuses throughout the nation. The bill has bipartisan support with sponsorship from Republican Senators Heller (R-NV), Grassley (R-IA), Ayotte (R-NH) and Rubio (R-FL) and Democratic Senators Blumenthal (D-CT) and Gillibrand… Read More


House Considers VA Conference Report

Both the House and Senate intend to bring to the floor this week a conference agreement to reform the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and increase transparency and services in the Department of Veterans Administration (VA). The House will be the first to consider, what has been a delicate and sometimes contentious agreement to create, the conference… Read More


July 28, 2014

This Week in Committees

Here are a few committee hearings we’ll be following this week. THURSDAY, JULY 28 House Energy & Commerce Committee Patient Care Legislation (HR 4067) Subcommittee Markup 3 PM; 2123 Rayburn House Building FRIDAY, JULY 29 House Science, Space & Technology National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Subcommittee Hearing 10 AM; 2318 Rayburn House Building SATURDAY, JULY… Read More


July 25, 2014

Rep. Ryan Anti-Poverty Plan and Higher Education

On Thursday, House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced what he is calling  a new anti-poverty plan that proposes sweeping changes to the safety net through a state-led pilot program. Announced at the the conservative American Enterprise Institute, Ryan’s plan calls for streamlining the student-aid system, capping federal loans to parents and graduate students, a database for tracking recipients of… Read More


House Passes Black-Davis Student and Family Tax Simplification Act

The House passed H.R. 3393, the Student and Family Tax Simplification Act (Black-Davis), by a vote of 227-187 yesterday. The bill combines four education tax benefits into a new, permanent American Opportunity Tax Credit. The higher education community has raised concerns about how the bill impacts nontraditional and graduate students. These concerns were echoed in… Read More


July 24, 2014

House Passes Series of Student-focused Bills

The House considered a series of higher education bills this week designed to increase transparency and education for student in how to pay for college. On Wednesday, the House passed the Advancing Competency-Based Education Demonstration Project Act (H.R. 3136) sponsored by Representative Matt Salmon (R-AZ), Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Jared Polis (D-CO). The bill would: Promotes innovation in higher… Read More


July 23, 2014

Senate to Introduce COMPETES Reauthorization This Week

We expect Senator John Rockefeller (D-WV) will introduce the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2014 later this week. A discussion draft of this five-year reauthorization bill has been circulated and many provisions in the bill are reminiscent of the COMPETES Acts of 2007 and 2010.