Federal Relations

June 25, 2012

Very Big Week in Congress

Today begins a very big week in Congress that could have huge consequences for the remainder of the calendar year.  First, the Supreme Court is expected to hand down its decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a ruling that will likely dominate the airwaves this week.  Second, Congress must deal with two critical legislative…


June 22, 2012

Senate Bill Requires Reports on Impact of Sequestration

Yesterday, the Senate passed a five-year reauthorization of farm legislation (S 3240) that includes a bipartisan amendment requiring detailed reports on the effects of the pending budget sequestration on both defense and nondefense discretionary spending. The amendment would require three reports: one from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on the overall budget figures…


Odds and Ends for the Week

Student Loan Interest Rates:  Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are getting close to a deal to prevent student loan rates from doubling on July 1st, from 3.4 percent up to 6.8 percent.  A deal could be announced as soon as today, although early next week seems more likely. The talks have…


June 21, 2012

Commerce Secretary to Resign

Commerce Secretary John Bryson informed the department’s employees Thursday that he has given the president a letter of resignation. “I have come to the conclusion that I need to step down to prevent distractions from this critical mission,” Bryson said. Bryson had been on a medical leave of absence since June 11, following a seizure…


SCOTUS to Rule on ACA

The Supreme Court is set to release decisions this morning starting at 10:00am eastern time (right now!). The court still has 10 opinions to release, the health care law decision among them.  While it could come today, I’m guessing they’ll wait until next week.  While the decision won’t have a direct impact on UW, it…


Energy Production Legislation Debated

This morning the House will continue debate on the Strategic Energy Production Act of 2012 (HR 4480), which seeks to increase domestic oil and gas production and reduce regulation of the energy industry in order to reduce energy prices and boost economic growth. This measure is the result of compiling the text of 7 separate…


June 18, 2012

This Week in Congress

The House was in recess last week, while the Senate kept itself busy with continued consideration of the “Farm Bill”. This bill authorizes agricultural research programs, as well as a host of other programs that support the US agriculture industry. The Senate Appropriations Committee also considered a few more spending bills, including the FYFiscal Year…


June 15, 2012

“DREAM Act” Closer to Reality

President Obama took executive action today to end the deportation of people who would be eligible for the DREAM Act if it were enacted. The new policy, effective immediately, will grant the people eligible for the program renewable, deferred action on their immigration status and the ability to apply for work authorization. The DREAM Act…


June 14, 2012

NRC Report on Research Universities

This morning the National Research Council’s (NRC) Committee on Research Universities released the long anticipated 220-page report:  Research Universities and the Future of America: Ten Breakthrough Actions Vital to Our Nation’s Prosperity and Security. In the report, the committee states: “America’s public research universities are at great risk” and makes 10 major recommendations, including calling for…


June 12, 2012

Senate L-HHS-ED Appropriations

Earlier today, the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education Appropriations Subcommittee approved their FY 2013 appropriations measure by a vote of 10-7.  That bill would provide $158.8 billion in discretionary spending for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, as well as related agencies.  This is about $2 billion more…


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