Federal Relations

July 8, 2013

Sequester: DoD to Start Civilian Furloughs

Today, the Department of Defense (DoD) will begin implementing civilian furloughs to 650,000 civilian employees at installations across the country. The furloughs amount to a 20 percent cut in pay over the next three months. This means most furloughed employees face one day without pay for each week through the end of September. Initially, the Pentagon…


Congress Back to Work this Week

Congress returns today after a weeklong recess period to begin a four-week work schedule leading into the August recess. The next four weeks will focus largely on FY14 spending bills. But this week the Senate Democrats will certainly attempt to reverse an interest rate hike on federal student loans that kicked in July 1st and…


July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July from the Office of Federal Relations. Congress will be back on Monday from the District Work Period. Federal Relations will have a full report on what’s to come before the August Recess next week.


July 1, 2013

Federally Subsidized Student Loan Rates Double Today

Congress adjourned last week for the 4th of July recess without passing legislation to halt the rise of student loan interest rates. That means that today the interest rate on Federally Subsidized student loans doubles from 3.4% to 6.8%. The rate hike is expected to affect 7 million students and will add an average of…


June 27, 2013

Senate Passes Immigration Reform

A short time ago, the US Senate approved sweeping immigration legislation. By a vote of 68 to 32, the Senate approved and concluded a month-long debate of a measure which was nearly 1,200 pages. To note the historic significance of the vote, Vice President Biden presided over the vote and Senators voted from their desks, which is…


Senate may Vote on Immigration Bill Today

Although the vote is officially scheduled for tomorrow afternoon, some reports are claiming that Senators may try to move the legislation for a vote around 4pm today. Senator Reid announced that Senators will make the vote from their desks – a method usually reserved for votes on historic legislation. Republicans in the House of Representatives…


June 26, 2013

Student Loan Deal Unlikely

Today, Senate Leader Harry Reid admitted that a deal to keep student loan interest rates from doubling to 6.8% before July 1st is unlikely. Several Senators continue to work to produce a last minute deal, including Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) who has been working with Senator Angus King (I-ME), an independent who caucuses with Democrats, and…


June 25, 2013

President’s Climate Action Plan

In conjunction with his statement today, the President has released his Climate Action plan. A short overview of the plan can be found here, while the longer version can be found here – POTUS Climate Change Action Plan.


Senate Confirms Pritzker

Today, the Senate confirmed Penny Pritzker as Secretary of Commerce by a vote of 97-1. Pritzker, a member of the family that owns Hyatt Hotels, was the national finance chairwoman of President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and the national co-chairwoman of his reelection campaign. The Commerce Department is comprised of of 12 different agencies responsible for…


President Unveils Climate Change Agenda

President Barack Obama will unveil his climate change agenda during a speech around 2 p.m. Eastern this afternoon. The agenda is expected to combine both Executive Orders and a call to Congress to enact legislation. The new climate initiative will impose deadlines for EPA to write rules throttling carbon dioxide emissions at U.S. power plants, part…


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