Federal Relations

116th Congress


October 31, 2019

One Step At A Time

After having agreed to take it up late last week, the Senate passed this afternoon a four-bill appropriations package by a vote of 84 – 9.  The bundle, a Senate substitute to a House-passed bill, includes the following FY2020 funding bills:  Agriculture; Commerce-Justice-Science; Interior; and Transportation – Housing and Urban Development.  This represents the first four…


HEA Bill Finally Clears Committee

The House Education and Labor Committee returned this morning for a third day of markup to finally approve the bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA).  It was reported out by a vote of 28 to 22.  Approximately five dozen amendments were considered during the consideration of the legislation. The committee Democrats issued the…


October 30, 2019

House Committee Still Working on HEA

Having lasted two days so far, the House Education and Labor Committee is still in the process of marking up the Democratic version of a bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA).  The committee is currently in recess, allowing members to vote on bills being considered on the floor. By the time the session…


October 29, 2019

Cloture Filed on Appropriations Measure

Last night, Senator McConnell filed cloture last night on a motion to proceed to H.R. 2740, which you may recall is the most expansive/expensive of all the spending packages and includes Labor-HHS, Defense, State/Foreign Ops, and Energy and Water.  A successful vote on Wednesday means that the Senate floor debate could begin on this bill…


October 23, 2019

A Step Forward

By a vote of 92 to 2, the Senate yesterday agreed to debate a package of four FY2020 spending bills.  As noted yesterday, the bundle is a Senate substitute to a set of House-passed bills and includes the following measures:  Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, Interior, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development. Even if the Senate does ultimately approve…


October 22, 2019

Yes, But How Much Progress?

The Senate might see some thawing on the appropriations front later this week, but how much thawing remains to be seen. In an attempt to break through on the appropriations impasse that has faced the Senate for weeks, the Republican leadership in the chamber plans to file a cloture motion on a package of four…


October 21, 2019

House Democrats Introduce HEA Legislation

As expected, the House Democrats introduced last week their version of the legislation to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA). The 1,100-page College Affordability Act is likely to be marked up by the Education and Labor Committee next week.  Unlike the Senate bill that was introduced in late September by HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander…


October 11, 2019

A Primer on Impeachment

In late September, Speaker of the House, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), announced a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Impeachment is when a legislative body levels charges against a government official. Similar to an indictment, it is the first step in the process of removing a government official from office because they have committed…


September 30, 2019

CR Signed, Now What?

On Friday, President Trump signed the first continuing resolution of FY2020, buying everyone time until the end of November 21 to figure out the next steps in the appropriations process. Fights over the border wall and abortion were going to be difficult enough to resolve; the new battles over impeachment will make the entire legislative…


September 26, 2019

Walking and Chewing Gum at the Same Time… For Now

While the Director of National Intelligence was testifying on the other side of the Capitol, the Senate Appropriations Committee took up five FY2020 appropriations bills today:  Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS); Interior; Homeland Security; Legislative Branch; and State-Foreign Operations.  We will provide details about the bills of greatest interest to UW as soon as they become available. While…



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