June 12, 2014

FY15 Appropriations Update

The unexpected primary election loss by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) could have repercussions on the FY15 appropriations process. Cantor will step down as Leader on July 31st and then serve the remainder of his term. The GOP will hold elections next week to determine who will succeed Cantor as Majority Leader, and that… Read More


June 11, 2014

Student Loan Bill Fails in Senate

The Senate failed to invoke cloture this morning and will not move forward on Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) bill to refinance student debt. The Senate voted of 56-38, which is less than the 2/3rds required to move forward.


June 9, 2014

Cloture Filed on Student Loan Bill

Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)  filed a cloture motion on proceeding to the student loan bill (S 2432) that would allow borrowers to refinance their old student loans at the current lower interest rates. The cloture vote would occur on Wednesday. Cloture, under the Senate rules, ends debate on the bill and allows for final… Read More


Senate VA Reform Agreement Includes In-State Tuition Provisions

Late last week, Senators Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and John McCain (R-AZ) announced a deal to salvage sought-after Veterans Administration reform in the wake of the on-going VA scandal. The legislation would allow for the reform the Department of Veterans Affairs to expand veterans’ access to health care and make it easier to fire VA officials for misconduct…. Read More


Obama Aims to Ease Student Debt

President Obama announced today a new executive order aimed at easing student borrowers’ debt loads by capping repayments at 10 percent of their monthly income. Obama also made student loans the focus of his weekly address on Saturday, saying he’d be taking action this week. The executive order will expand on a 2010 law, the Bipartisan Student… Read More


The Week Ahead

This week lawmakers continue to debate FY2015 appropriations, student loans, and VA reform. Tonight, the House will vote on S. 1254, the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2013. The bill would authorize $20.5 million annually through 2018 for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to reduce the effects of… Read More


June 5, 2014

Senate Confirms Burwell

Today, the Senate voted 78-17 to confirm Sylvia Mathews Burwell as secretary of Health and Human Services. Burwell replaces Kathleen Sebelius, who stepped down earlier this year. 


June 4, 2014

Senate Committees Hold Hearings on Student Loans

This morning Senators discussed student loans in two simultaneous committee hearings. The Senate Budget Committee, which is chaired by Washington State’s Senator Patty Murray, held a full committee hearing titled, “Impact of Student Loan Debt on Borrowers and the Economy.” Key witnesses in the hearing included representatives from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Student… Read More


May 30, 2014

House Passes CJS, Senate Considers Its Version Next Week

The House passed the FY15 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill after 1 am this morning. The measure passed by a vote of 321-87. This legislation provides a 3.3% increase for NSF funding over FY14 levels. It also provides ample funding for science programs at NASA.  Earlier in the evening, the House considered an amendment by Rep…. Read More


May 29, 2014

Easton to leave IES

 John Easton announced today that he will be leaving his position as Director of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) this Fall to take a position at the Spencer Foundation in Chicago. As director of IES, Easton oversaw the National Center for Education Statistics, the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, the National Center for Education Research, and… Read More