Federal Relations

July 17, 2012

Education Provisions in House L-HHS-Ed Bill

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education released their draft FY 2013 appropriations bill this morning, with plans of a Subcommittee markup tomorrow (Wednesday) at 10:00am eastern time.  Highlights include: Pell Grants – The maximum Pell Grant award is increased to $5,635, mostly due to an authorized mandatory cost-of-living adjustment. Corporation for Public Broadcasting – The…


FY 2013 Labor-HHS-ED Draft Bill

The House Appropriations Committee this morning released their draft FY 2013 Labor-Health and Human Services-Education (LHHS) Appropriations bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow morning (Wednesday).  As expected, the draft bill includes $150 billion in discretionary funding, which is $6.3 billion below last year’s level and $8.8 billion below the President’s budget request. Health…


Sequester “Line in the Sand” Bills

Senate Democrats are warning that they will not agree to a deal to stop across-the-board spending cuts early next year (sequester) without new revenue gained by ending tax breaks on the wealthiest Americans.  To that end, they circulated a draft bill yesterday that would spare most Americans from higher tax rates that are due to…


July 12, 2012

House L-HHS-Ed Mark Up

The House is likely to mark up their Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill on July 18, although no official announcement has been made. The $150 billion bill is the only one of the 12 annual spending bills not yet approved by House appropriators. At $150 billion, the measure would be about $7 billion below current spending.


July 9, 2012

This Week in Congress

Both the House and Senate return to Capitol Hill today from their Fourth of July recess and begin the final four week stretch before the August recess. The Senate is in at 2:00pm though no votes are scheduled until tomorrow. The House is also in at 2:00pm with votes expected at 6:30pm, when seven bills…


July 2, 2012

The Aftermath…

Both the House and Senate are in recess this week for the Fourth of July holiday.  Late last week, both chambers demonstrated that they can advance legislation by reauthorizing federal highway and transit programs for two years and preventing Stafford student loan interest rate increases.  Also last week, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care…


June 29, 2012

Student Loans and Transportation Research

The House and Senate both will take action today on the conference agreement to HR 4348, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The agreement reauthorizes federal highway, transit, and other surface transportation programs through September 30, 2014, at current funding levels with inflationary increases for certain programs. It consolidates or…


June 28, 2012

SCOTUS Upholds “Individual Mandate”

The Supreme Court has upheld the “individual mandate” requiring Americans to carry health insurance. The mandate is a key element of the Affordable Care Act.  More details to come.


June 27, 2012

Deal Reached on Student Loans

On Tuesday, Senate leaders announced that they reached a deal to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, but they are still determining whether to attach that “deal” to a measure that would reauthorize highway programs, which is still being negotiated. Congress must take action on both issues –…


June 26, 2012

Congress Requests Information on Implementation of the Sequester

Today, the House Budget Committee mark up Republican leaders’ legislation, similar to bipartisan language added last week to the Senate farm bill that seeks more information about the automatic budget cuts.  The action comes after several attempts by lawmakers to get more details from the administration about how the roughly $109 billion sequester will take…


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