Federal Relations

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…


June 24, 2013

This Week in Congress

Congress will attempt to wrap up work on several outstanding issues this week before adjourning for the Independence Day Recess next week. The July 1st deadline on Student-Loan rates is looming and the interest rate is set to rise in 7 days unless Congress is able to reach an agreement. As of now, there does…


Fisher v. University of Texas Ruling

Today, the Supreme Court came out with its ruling on the case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin that lower courts did not apply a sufficiently high level of scrutiny to the University of Texas’s use of race in admissions decisions, sending the case back to one of those lower courts to be reconsidered. In…


June 20, 2013

House Defeats Farm Bill

The House voted down the farm bill by a vote of 195-234 early this afternoon. Sixty-two Republicans voted against the measure while 24 Democrats voted for the measure. With that, the House is adjourned for the week. It is unclear major legislation, including student loans or appropriations measures, that the House will consider next week….


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