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Federal Relations

June 9, 2014

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….


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…


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…


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…


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….


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…


House Continues CJS, House Science Cmte Passes FIRST

Adjourning well after midnight last night, the House will consider its floor consideration of the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill this morning. The House is expected to pass the measure late tonight. Thus far, the House has considered a number of amendments, and some of interest are below. Passed Amendments: An amendment, offered by Mr. Reichert…


May 27, 2014

House to Consider CJS

The House of Representatives is expected to begin floor consideration of its version of the FY15 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill (H.R. 4660) tomorrow, May 28 at 2 p.m. On Thursday, May 29, the House will reconvene at noon and is expected to complete consideration of the CJS Appropriations bill that day. The House…


May 22, 2014

White House Initiative Releases Financial Aid Guide for Hispanic Students

The White House Initiative on Education Excellence for Hispanics released a new guide on financial aid today. Available in both Spanish and English, the guide consolidates and outlines existing resources in a culturally relevant way for Hispanic students. The guide aims to better support these students in their efforts to enroll in and pay for…


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