Washington Wrap Up — March 15, 2016

Below is an abridged version of RAMC’s weekly Washington Wrap Up. Find out more about Wrap Up and other RAMC resources here.

Last Week in Congress and the Administration


The House Education and the Workforce Committee will hold a committee hearing on the policies and priorities of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on Wednesday, March 16. DOL Secretary Thomas Perez will testify.

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies will hold a subcommittee hearing on DOL’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget request on Tuesday, March 15. Secretary Perez will testify.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee voted 16–6 to advance Dr. John King’s nomination to be U.S. Secretary of Education. The full Senate voted to approve his nomination by a vote of 49–40.

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies will hold a subcommittee hearing on DOL’s FY2017 budget request on Thursday, March 17. Secretary Perez will testify.

Thirty-five Senate Democrats sent a letter to President Obama urging the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to adopt changes to draft regulations on defense of repayment. House Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) and House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) also sent a letter. The negotiated rulemaking panel developing regulations on this issue reconvenes next Wednesday, March 16, for its third and final session.

The White House announced James Kvaal, Deputy Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council (DPC), is departing after nearly seven years of serving the Administration at DPC and ED. DPC’s Chief of Staff, Katherine Kochman, will replace him.

Following the Inspector General’s report of student loan servicers’ compliance with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, ED announced it would refund money to all military borrowers who were charged more than six percent interest on their federal student loans between 2009 and July 2014.

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]

Education Department May Ban Mandatory Arbitration [Inside Higher Ed]

160 Private Colleges Fail Education Dept.’s Financial-Responsibility Test [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Ben Carson to advise Trump campaign on education [Inside Higher Ed]

Meet the Academics  Who Want Donald Trump to Be President [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Woman wants out of lawsuit against Trump University, but Trump’s lawyers say no [The Los Angeles Times]

Multiple sex harassment cases against UC faculty prompt new review process [The Los Angeles Times]

The real price of a college degree [The Washington Post]

How to Help First-Generation Students Succeed [The Atlantic]

At some colleges, your gender – man or woman – might give you an admissions edge [The Washington Post]

‘Social-Emotional Learning’ a Ripe Market for Ed Tech, Report Contends [Education Week]
World Economic Forum and the Boston Consulting Group Report: “New Vision for Education: Fostering Social and Emotional Learning Through Technology”

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor

House Education and the Workforce Committee
Press Release: Scott Applauds Senate HELP Committee Vote to Advance Nomination of Dr. King

Press Release: Ranking Member Scott and Waters: Student Borrowers Deserve Immediate Debt Relief after Attending Schools Engaged In Deceptive & Predatory Practices

March 16: Full Committee Hearing: “Examining the Policies and Priorities of the U.S. Department of Labor”
Witnesses: The Honorable Thomas Perez, Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor
10:00 a.m. in 2175 Rayburn House Office Building or webcast

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Press Release: Murray Presses Acting Education Secretary on Refunds and Accountability for Servicemembers Overcharged on Student Loans

Webcast of last week’s Executive Session including the Nomination of Dr. John King

Press Release: Senate Education Committee Approves Education Secretary Nomination

Senate Committee on Appropriations
March 17: Subcommittee Hearing: “Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Request for the U.S. Department of Labor”
Witness: The Honorable Thomas E. Perez, Secretary, Department of Labor
10:00 a.m. in 138 Dirksen Senate Office Building

House Committee on Appropriations
March 15: Budget Hearing: Department of Labor
Witness: The Honorable Thomas E. Perez, Secretary, Department of Labor
10:00 a.m. in 2358-C Rayburn House Office Building

March 16: Budget Hearing: National Science Foundation
Witness: The Honorable France A. Cordova, Director, National Science Foundation
10:30 a.m. in H-309 The Capitol

Senate Committee on the Budget
Press Release: Budget Bulletin: CBO Revenue Baselines and Tax Reform

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation
March 16: Executive Session: FAA and FCC Reauthorization Bills, Nomination
10:00 a.m. in 253 Senate Russell Office Building

House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology 
March 16: Research and Technology Subcommittee Hearing: “An Overview of Budget Proposal for the National Institute of Standards and Technology for Fiscal Year 2017”
Witness: Dr. Willie E. May, Director, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
10:00 a.m. in 2318 Rayburn House Office Building

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration

White House:

  • Press Release: Fact sheet: White House Announces Doubling of TechHire Communities, and New Steps to Give More Students and Workers Tech Skills to Fuel the Next Generation of American Innovation
  • Press Release: Fact sheet: President Obama Announces ConnectALL Initiative
  • Blog: International Women’s Day: Women Who Inspire Our Work

Department of Education:

  • Press Release: U.S. Department of Education Takes Further Steps to Protect Students from Predatory Higher Education Institutions
  • Speech: Today’s Career and Technical Education Helps Students Write the Future
  • Blog: Know Before You Go: Updated College Data for Students and Families

Department of Labor:

  • Blog: Pathways to Success for Young People
  • Blog: DOL in Action

Legislative Movement in Congress

S.2626: Higher Education Unmanned Aircraft Systems Modernization Act
Sponsor: Sen Peters, Gary C. [MI] (introduced 3/3/2016) Cosponsors (1)
Committees: Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation; Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Latest Major Action: 3/10/2016 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Hearings held.

S.779: Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act of 2015
Sponsor: Sen Cornyn, John [TX] (introduced 3/18/2015) Cosponsors (5)
Committees: Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Senate Reports: 114-224
Latest Major Action: 3/8/2016 Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 384.

H.R.4454: Chris Kotch VA Education Access Act
Sponsor: Rep Pingree, Chellie [ME-1] (introduced 2/3/2016) Cosponsors (2)
Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs
Latest Major Action: 3/7/2016 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity.

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices

DOL Comment Request: Proposed extension, with no revisions, of data collections using the ETA Form 9117, Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Reserve Funding Request Form. Comments due May 10, 2016.

ED Comment Request: Proposed priorities and definitions under the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad (Fulbright-Hays GPA) Program. Comments due April 11, 2016.

ED Grant Notice: Career and Technical Education (CTE) Makeover Challenge. First Round Submission due April 1, 2016.