Federal Relations

October 27, 2011

FY12 Appropriations and Super Committee Work

The Office of Federal Relations Team is not making any holiday plans – for now – as it now looks like Congress won’t wrap up annual appropriations work nor consider recommendations for long-term deficit until just before Christmas. House appropriators may try to expedite completion of overdue FY12 appropriations bills by adding one or two…


October 26, 2011

President Obama Announces New ‘Know Before You Owe’ Student Loan Initiative

President Obama announced today at a speech at the University of Colorado Denver, a new initiative called ‘Know Before You Owe’ designed to make college loans more affordable and reduce the financial burden on recent graduates – many of whom are struggling to find employment. The administration is essentially speeding up by 2 years, a…


October 19, 2011

NIH Considers Options for Cuts

As described in this Science Insider article, NIH has begun to reach out to the community for feedback on what strategies should be considered during an era of reduced budgets. Everything seems to be on the table, from limiting numbers or grants per investigator to capping salaries charged to grants. NIH has put together a…


October 17, 2011

Minibus vs. Omnibus

While the House is in recess this week, the Senate will continue working on FY12 appropriations measures in an effort to create a path forward on completing those bills before the continuing resolution (CR) expires on November 18th.  Later today, the Senate will test the waters with a “minibus,” which would include three spending bills…


October 11, 2011

This Week in Congress

The House begins their work week today at noon, with votes scheduled for later this evening.  In addition to several bills related to veterans , the House will begin debate on the Panama, South Korea, and Colombia free trade agreements.  Meanwhile, the Senate begins their work week later today (around 5:30pm).  The Senate is set to vote on a judicial…


October 4, 2011

House Passes Six Week-Long CR, Heads to President for Signature

The House today cleared a six week-long Continuing Resolution that the Senate passed last week. The measure will keep the government running through November 18th and sets spending at the $1.043 trillion level agreed to in the debt limit law passed in August. It allocates $2.65 billion for disaster aid for FEMA, and the offsets…


September 29, 2011

House Appropriations Releases Draft Labor-HHS-Ed Spending Bill

The House Appropriations Committee released their draft Labor-HHS-Education spending bill today in which they executed several spending cuts and revoked all additional funding for “Obamacare”. Some highlights: Health & Human Services The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is funded at $6.7 billion, a $1.5 billion increase over FY11 levels The National Institutes of Health…


September 27, 2011

CR Agreement Finalized

Late yesterday, Congressional leaders agreed to a deal that will avert a government shutdown as the end of the federal fiscal year looms.  The Senate approved a week-long continuing resolution (CR) that will run through October 4th, which is expected to be approved by the House – through a pro forma session – sometime on…


September 26, 2011

Five Days to Shutdown

With just five days until the end of the current federal fiscal year, congressional leaders continue to work to resolve an impasse over how to pay for disaster aid that threatens to shut down the government on Friday at midnight.  There appears to be bipartisan support for a continuing resolution (CR) that would allow the…


September 23, 2011

President Obama Announces New Push for Education Reform

President Obama today announced that it was time to commit to tackling education reform and that he would allow states to apply for waivers that will give them flexibility from mandates under the ‘No Child Left Behind’ law that many officials agree is outdated and no longer effective. The President stated that many states and…


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