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Federal Relations

July 9, 2013

Senate to Try and Pass Student Loan Interest Bill (again)

Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid has scheduled a cloture vote on S. 1238, the Keep Student Loans Affordable Act, which is a measure that would keep the Stafford subsidized interest rate at 3.4 percent for another year. Over 43 Democratic Senators has sponsored the legislation including Senators Murray and Cantwell. The vote is a cloture…


Senate Proposes Increase for NIH

Earlier today the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (L-HHS-ED) Appropriations Subcommittee approved by voice vote an FY14 bill that provides $164.33 billion in discretionary funding for programs under its jurisdiction, $7.8 billion higher than FY13 and above the budget caps established in the Budget Control Act.  No amendments were offered during the subcommittee…


July 8, 2013

This Week in Congress

An overview of relevant House and Senate committee hearings and markups on the schedule this week: TUESDAY, July 9th Senate Appropriations Fiscal 2014 Appropriations: Labor-HHS Subcommittee Markup 11 am, 138 Dirksen House Education and the Workforce Innovation in Higher Education Full Committee Hearing 10 am, 2175 Rayburn WEDNESDAY, July 10th House Appropriations Fiscal 2014 Appropriations:…


Sequester: DoD to Start Civilian Furloughs

Today, the Department of Defense (DoD) will begin implementing civilian furloughs to 650,000 civilian employees at installations across the country. The furloughs amount to a 20 percent cut in pay over the next three months. This means most furloughed employees face one day without pay for each week through the end of September. Initially, the Pentagon…


Congress Back to Work this Week

Congress returns today after a weeklong recess period to begin a four-week work schedule leading into the August recess. The next four weeks will focus largely on FY14 spending bills. But this week the Senate Democrats will certainly attempt to reverse an interest rate hike on federal student loans that kicked in July 1st and…


July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July from the Office of Federal Relations. Congress will be back on Monday from the District Work Period. Federal Relations will have a full report on what’s to come before the August Recess next week.


July 1, 2013

Federally Subsidized Student Loan Rates Double Today

Congress adjourned last week for the 4th of July recess without passing legislation to halt the rise of student loan interest rates. That means that today the interest rate on Federally Subsidized student loans doubles from 3.4% to 6.8%. The rate hike is expected to affect 7 million students and will add an average of…


June 27, 2013

Senate Passes Immigration Reform

A short time ago, the US Senate approved sweeping immigration legislation. By a vote of 68 to 32, the Senate approved and concluded a month-long debate of a measure which was nearly 1,200 pages. To note the historic significance of the vote, Vice President Biden presided over the vote and Senators voted from their desks, which is…


Senate may Vote on Immigration Bill Today

Although the vote is officially scheduled for tomorrow afternoon, some reports are claiming that Senators may try to move the legislation for a vote around 4pm today. Senator Reid announced that Senators will make the vote from their desks – a method usually reserved for votes on historic legislation. Republicans in the House of Representatives…


June 26, 2013

Student Loan Deal Unlikely

Today, Senate Leader Harry Reid admitted that a deal to keep student loan interest rates from doubling to 6.8% before July 1st is unlikely. Several Senators continue to work to produce a last minute deal, including Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) who has been working with Senator Angus King (I-ME), an independent who caucuses with Democrats, and…


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