Federal Relations

November 28, 2012

Alternative to Dream Act Introduced

As the Los Angeles Times is reporting, three republican senators introduced an alternative version of the Dream Act on Tuesday that would give legal status for young immigrants brought to the US unlawfully as children.  The effort, called the Achieve Act and launched by retiring senators Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) and…


November 27, 2012

No Earmarking in 113th Congress

It appears that earmarks will remain “taboo” when the new congress convenes in January. During organizational meetings the week before Thanksgiving, the House Republicans voted to extend the current ban on earmarking for the entire two years of the 113th Congress. That leaves the House Democrats, who meet for their organizational meetings on Thursday, no…


November 20, 2012

Sequestration Update

Following their private meeting last week, President Obama and House and Senate leaders expressed confidence that they would be able to reach agreement on a means of averting the year-end “fiscal cliff” of expiring tax benefits and deep, across-the-board budget cuts required by the sequester.  Congress is out of session this week for the Thanksgiving…


November 13, 2012

Lame Duck Begins

Congress returns to Capitol Hill today to kick off the lame-duck session.  They are expected to work this week, break next week for Thanksgiving, and then return the last week in November for three more weeks.  During this session lawmakers will tackle big issues including sequestration, taxes, and disaster aid – among other issues. Congress…


November 8, 2012

Post Election Look

After a long and tenuous campaign season, the election results are in and essentially reflect the status quo. President Obama will serve a second term as President, the Senate will remain in the control of Democrats, and the House will remain in the control of Republicans. While the party-makeup of the new Congress will essentially…


November 5, 2012

One More Day…

Tomorrow is election day – finally! Regardless of who wins the presidency, he will have to move quickly to find a solution to avert the fiscal cliff that can muster enough votes in a politically divided Congress.  As I’ve been reporting for much of the year, Congress must take action by the end of the…


October 29, 2012

CR and Sequester Update

Members of Congress are discussing the possibility of approving a continuing resolution (CR) for the entire fiscal year to avoid partisan political battles and a possible government shutdown. Appropriators continue to press for completing this year’s spending bills in a lame-duck omnibus, but it’s more likely that they will be left for the next Congress….


October 25, 2012

DHS Announces New Honors Program

Yesterday, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced the creation of the Secretary’s Honors Program (SHP), a new initiative to recruit exceptional recent graduates for careers at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Qualified candidates for the SHP compete for a limited number of positions across the Department, and are selected based on their academic…


Higher Ed Agendas Under Obama or Romney

President Obama’s campaign recently released a brochure detailing how he might approach education issues during a second term. And there are now several articles popping up, including a comprehensive one from Inside Higher Ed, that look as how either an Obama second term or a new President Romney would look like. Based on his first…


October 22, 2012

Sequestration Update

Even though Congress is in recess until after the November elections, efforts to find a solution to the so-called “fiscal cliff” continue among members of the Senate. A bipartisan effort aimed at avoiding scheduled increases in taxes and automatic, across-the-board spending cuts early next year are taking shape in Senate, with attention focused on replacing…


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