Federal Relations

116th Congress


September 10, 2020

Senate Hearing on FAFSA Simplification

The US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) will hold a hearing on simplifying the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Witnesses are from the National College Attainment Network, University of North Carolina, HCM Strategies, Harvard University, and Columbia University. Title: Time to Finish Fixing the FAFSA Date and Time: Thursday, September…


September 8, 2020

Senate Republicans Release Targeted COVID-19 Package

Today, US Senate Republican leaders released a smaller, targeted COVID-19 package. Titled “Delivering Immediate Relief to America’s Families, Schools and Small Businesses Act”, the legislation focuses on specific priorities including childcare, COVID-19 testing, unemployment insurance, and the USPS. It would cost approximately $500 billion and a vote is expected as soon as this week. A…


September 2, 2020

House Hearing on COVID Impacts to University Research

On Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 the US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Subcommittee on Research and Technology, will host a hearing on COVID impacts to University Research. Title: The Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on University Research Date: Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 Time: 8:00 am PT/11:00 am ET Witnesses: Dr. Joseph Walsh, Interim…


August 3, 2020

Still Not Close

Even as the federal unemployment enhancement support of $600 per week officially expired last week, the White House, Congressional Republicans, and Congressional Democrats are still not close to a deal on the next COVID-19 relief bill.  While Republicans offered a short-term unemployment extension, Democrats rejected it as the sides are not close on a deal…


July 31, 2020

And Then There Were Two

Earlier today, the House finished debate on and passed the second “minibus” of FY2021 spending bills.  The passage of H. R. 7617, which is made up of six bills, leaves two bills for further action, Homeland Security and Legislative Branch.


July 30, 2020

Meanwhile, the FY2021 Appropriations Bills Move Along

While most of the public’s attention is focused on the difficult negotiations that may or may not be taking placing on the next COVID relief package, the clock continues to count down to the start of FY2021. The House is working to adopt a second “minibus” of spending bills before this weekend.  Instead of taking…


July 29, 2020

Let the Negotiations Begin

It turns out that the COVID relief package that the Senate Republicans released yesterday is made up of eight separate bills, with each one attempting to address a different aspect of the relief and recovery effort.  They range from a supplemental appropriations bill that would provide funding to myriad agencies and programs to policy bills…


July 28, 2020

Senate Republicans Release Their Relief Package

Late yesterday afternoon, the Senate Republicans released their anticipated COVID relief package. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said in the past that this is the last COVID relief bill that the Republicans will consider. The package itself is made up of a number of different bills, with each one dealing with a different set…


July 27, 2020

Will We See More Appropriations and Senate “COVID 4.0” This Week?

After adopting a four-bill spending package for FY2021 last week, the House is currently scheduled to take up an even larger seven-bill “minibus” later this week, H.R. 7617.The legislation combines the FY2021 Defense, Commerce-Justice-Science, Energy and Water Development, Labor-HHS-Education, Financial Services-General Government, Homeland Security, and Transportation-HUD measures.  As we noted last week, the Senate has yet…


July 24, 2020

First Batch of Spending Bills Clears House Floor

As expected, the House cleared its first package of FY2021 spending bills earlier this afternoon.  The four-bill batch, H. R. 7608, combines four separate pieces of legislation:  State-Foreign Operations; Agriculture; Interior and Environment; and Military Construction- Veterans Affairs.  It was adopted by a vote of 224 to 189.  A summary of H. R. 7608 is available here….



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