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Federal Relations

June 18, 2015

Senate Passes NDAA, but FY16 Defense Funding Stalls

The Senate passed the unusually contentious FY16 NDAA, by a vote of 71-25, today. The Senate had planned to move ahead to tackling Defense Appropriations on the Floor, but the measure failed to receive 60 votes needed to invoke cloture and proceed.  As a reminder, the President has issued a veto threat on the bill and Senate Democrats have promised to…

FY2016 Labor-HHS Bill Moves Through Subcommittee

The House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee approved its FY2016 spending bill by voice vote, with all Democrats voting against the proposal. The panel earlier had rejected a dozen amendments in a series of voice votes, with partisan splits apparent over family planning and the implementation of the 2010 health law. However, members of both parties made…

June 17, 2015

Senate HELP Looks at Accreditation

The Senate HELP Committee is holding a hearing today on accreditation’s role in ensuring quality and how that  fits into the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The committee will hear from Peter Ewell, vice president of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, Thomas Edison State College President George Pruitt, and Albert Gray, president and CEO…

White House Signals Concerns with FY16 House’s Financial Services and Senate’s Defense Funding Bills

Continuing its theme, the White House, though the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shaun Donovan, signaled concerns with two more Congressional appropriations bills. Donovan wrote the House Appropriators about the FY16 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill and Senate Appropriators about the FY16 Defense appropriations bill. The White House warned…

June 16, 2015

House Appropriators Releases FY16 Labor-H

House Appropriations Committee Republicans released their draft FY16 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Labor (Labor-H) spending plan earlier today, and Democrats are already protesting the proposal and calling for an end to the budget caps. The House Appropriations Labor-H Subcommittee is expected to consider and pass the measure tomorrow. The Labor-H bill may…

OMB Signals Concerns on House FY16 Interior Bill

Due to be marked up today, the White House signaled concerns to House Appropriators about their $30.2 billion FY16 Interior-Environment spending bill. Office of Management and Budget (OMB)  Director Shaun Donovan criticized the measure for the proposed cuts to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as riders to block implementation of various air and water rules. The…

June 15, 2015

FY16 Appropriations Heats Up

Happy Monday morning from a hot and steamy DC, where the temperature and humidity are expected to rise into the uncomfortable range this week. Thank goodness for air conditioning! Also this week, the Supreme Court is expected to hand down one or more decisions today at 10am ET, the first of two batches this week….

June 12, 2015

House Appropriations Committee to Consider Interior and Labor-H

The House keeps up the pace with considering the annual 12 appropriations bills. Today the House Appropriations committee put out a notice that they would consider two bills next week. The whole House Appropriations Committee will consider the FY2016 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill on Tuesday, June 16 at 10:15 am. The House Labor, Health…

June 11, 2015

House Judiciary Approves HR 9 Innovation Act

The House Judiciary Committee yesterday voted 24-8 to pass the Innovation Act (HR 9), a highly problematic patent bill that numbers  higher education associations, including AAU, APLU, COGR, AUTM, AAMC and ACE, are on record as opposing. The group of six higher education associations have been working together on patent reform proposals currently in the house and Senate….

House Passes FY16 Defense Appropriations Bill

Today, the House  approved the $578.6 billion FY15 Defense appropriations bill despite Democratic objections, both from the House and White House, to using the war accounts, known as the Overseas Contingency Operations fund, to bridge the gap between stringent BCA budget caps and the Pentagon’s spending request. The measure totals $800 million above the Administration’s request, thanks to…

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