Federal Relations

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…


House Science Committee Passes FIRST (almost)

In an incredibly partisan and late mark up, the House Science Committee finally finished considering the 27 proposed and debated amendments to the FIRST Act (HR 4186). Given the lengthy and contentious nature of the hearing, the roll call votes and final passage of the measure have been postponed until next week. Therefore, as of…


Patent Reform Legislation Pulled from Agenda

Consideration of comprehensive patent legislation appears to be off the agenda for the year after Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Leahy (D-VT) pulled it from his committee’s agenda on Wednesday. He cited frustration with unproductive negotiations as the reason for the turnaround. The measure had been slated for consideration by the committee today but less than…


May 21, 2014

U.S. Department of Education Announces $75 Million First in the World Competition

To spur innovation in higher education aimed at helping more students access and complete a college degree or credential, the U.S. Department of Education announced late last week the availability of $75 million in the First in the World (FITW) program. The grants will fund the development and testing of innovative approaches and strategies at…


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