Federal Relations

November 2, 2017

House Science Committee Chairman to Retire

In a statement released earlier today, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Science Committee, announced that he plans to retire at the end of this term. Currently in his 16th term, he has been a key player in a number of areas of critical interest to academia and higher education.  Among other issues,…


Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

The House Republican Leadership unveiled their much-awaited Tax Cuts and American Jobs act. At first glance, the measure would: cut the corporate tax rate to 20%; reduce the seven individual tax brackets into four; nearly double the standard deduction to $24K (married), $18,300 (head of household), and 12,200 (single); increase the child care tax credit…


October 30, 2017

This Week: CHIP and Taxes

The House and Senate are back this today for what will be the long slog until Thanksgiving. There’s a ton of to-do items on the agenda, including tax reform, raising the debt ceiling, FY 2018 appropriations, the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and the list goes on. The focus for the House this week…


October 26, 2017

House Agrees to Senate Budget and Tax Guidelines

Today, the House adopted the Senate-passed FY2018 budget resolution, H. Con. Res. 71, that would lay down the foundation for tax cuts.  While a budget resolution is traditionally used to set up the broad parameters for spending for a given fiscal year, this year’s resolution is being used as a vehicle to set up procedures to move…


October 20, 2017

Budget and Taxes

The Senate passed its FY 2018 budget by a vote of 51-49 on last night. The passage is a key step to Republican hopes of creating and passing any tax overhaul measure through Congress along party lines in the coming months. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) was the lone Republican dissenter. Behind the scenes, GOP leaders have already hammered…


October 17, 2017

Senate Begins Debate on Budget Resolution

The Senate has begun its floor debate on the FY2018 budget resolution. As mentioned previously, although usually used to determine parameters of federal spending, this year’s package contains a set of procedures that would enable the chamber to adopt a tax package by a simple majority. With all Democrats expected to oppose it, one Republican…


Marino Out as Drug Czar

A Washington Post/“60 Minutes” investigation, which aired this weekend, examined Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) efforts to guide legislation that weakened the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to go after drug distributors, even as opioid-related deaths continue to rise. Marino was the Administration’s nominee for the position of Drug Czar. He has withdrawn his name from consideration. President Trump…


October 16, 2017

Senate Expected to Take Up FY2018 Budget Resolution

The full Senate is expected to take up this week its FY2018 budget resolution.  The House cleared its version earlier this month. While the budget resolution usually lays out the budget parameters for a given year, the primary goal of the FY2018 budget resolution is to set up for procedures that would allow Republicans to pass a…


October 13, 2017

What We’re Reading, October 9-13

Here’s a selection of articles we’re reading this week. Meet the Trump Whisperer – Few people are closer to Trump than Thomas J. Barrack Jr., his friend for three decades. Barrack helped rescue Trump’s real estate empire years ago. He was the top fundraiser for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. He turned down a Cabinet offer, preferring…


Administration to Cut Health Insurance Subsidies

Late Thursday, President Trump announced the Administration will no longer pay subsidies to health insurance companies that help pay out-of-pocket costs of low-income people. These plans were disclosed hours after the President issued an executive action yesterday to change the nation’s insurance system, including sales of cheaper policies with fewer benefits and fewer protections for consumers. The…


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