Washington Wrap Up — April 5, 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 is in recess and will return on Tuesday, April 12.


The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its analysis of the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Budget. CBO projects that from FY2017–FY2026, the President’s budget would result in deficits averaging 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and totaling $6.9 trillion, $2.4 trillion less than CBO’s baseline. In addition, the CBO analysis scored the cost of specific education proposals from the President’s request, including America’s College Promise ($70.1 billion over 10 years), Preschool for All ($66 billion over 10 years), permanently indexing Pell awards to inflation ($38.4 billion over 10 years), and income-based repayment reforms (saving $23.2 billion over 10 years).


ED sent letters to two student debt relief companies, Abuv Media and MC Business Group, requesting that they stop misrepresenting their affiliation with ED, by means such as using ED’s logo on their materials, and that they include disclaimers on their websites that they are “not affiliated with or endorsed by” ED.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ordered Student Aid Institute, Inc. and its Chief Executive Officer, Steven Lamont, to permanently exit the debt relief industry, pay a $50,000 civil penalty and stop charging affected costumers. CFPB has accused the company of charging illegal advance fees, failing to provide privacy notices and implying an affiliation with ED to get borrowers to pay fees for federal benefits.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3–2 to expand the Lifeline Program, a federal low-income phone subsidy program, to support internet service. In addition, FCC advanced a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that expands privacy requirements on providers of broadband internet.

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

First-Ever Education Secretary Had a Groundbreaking Tenure at the Department [Education Week]

Study explores faculty views on scholarly communication and information use [Inside Higher Ed]

On campuses across the country, students are standing up for Donald Trump [The Los Angeles Times]

Survey: College students seek balance on free speech and hate speech [The Washington Post]

Public colleges may be responding to state performance funding by enrolling fewer low-income students [Inside Higher Ed]

College endowments under scrutiny [The Hill]

Unionizing Pays Big Dividend for Professors at Regional Public Universities [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Education Dept. Seeks More Input for Online Teacher-Prep Program Regs [Education Week]

New Federal Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking Approved by Obama [Education Week]

FCC Adds Broadband to ‘Lifeline’ Program in Party-Line Vote [Education Week]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor

The House is in recess and will return on Tuesday, April 12.

House Education and the Workforce Committee
Blog: The 6th Anniversary of the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Press Release: At Murray’s Urging, Education Department Announces Simplified FAFSA to Reduce Burden on Students and Families

Senate Committee on Appropriations
Press Release: Hearing Schedule for the Week of April 4, 2016

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration

White House:

  • Blog: Everyone Needs Broadband. Now More Low-Income Americans Will Be Able to Afford it.

Department of Education:

  • Blog: Focusing on Financial Literacy for Students
  • Press Release: Secretary King to Co-Chair the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
  • Press Release: Statement from U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. on the Passing of Shirley Hufstedler

Department of Labor:

  • Blog: Accessible Workplace Technology: Signed, Sealed, Delivered
  • Press Release: US Labor Department Issues Final Rule Extending Religious Liberty Protections To Participants In Federally Funded Job Training, Social Service Programs

Institute of Education Sciences:

  • Review of the Report: “The Open Learning Initiative: Measuring the Effectiveness of OLI Statistics Courses in Accelerating Student Learning”

Congressional Budget Office:

  • Report: An Analysis of the President’s 2017 Budget

Legislative Movement in Congress

H.R.4790: Recreation Not Red-Tape Act
Sponsor: Rep Blumenauer, Earl [OR-3] (introduced 3/17/2016) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Natural Resources; House Agriculture; House Education and the Workforce; House Armed Services; House Energy and Commerce; House Transportation and Infrastructure
Latest Major Action: 3/31/2016 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry.

H.R.2666: No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act
Sponsor: Rep Kinzinger, Adam [IL-16] (introduced 6/4/2015) Cosponsors (19)
Related Bills: S.2283
Latest Major Action: 3/30/2016 Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 364.
House Reports: 114-478

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices

ED Final Rule: Fundamental Principles and Policymaking Criteria for Partnerships With Faith-Based and Other Neighborhood Organizations

ED Notice: Deadline dates for the receipt of documents and other information from applicants and institutions participating in certain Federal student aid programs authorized under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), for the 2016-2017 award year. The Federal student aid programs covered by this deadline date notice are the Pell Grant, Direct Loan, TEACH Grant, and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant programs.

ED Notice: Annual updates to the Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) plan formula for 2016 – William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program

ED Comment Request: Proposed priority and requirement under the Equity Assistance Centers (EAC) Program. Comments due May 2, 2016.

ED Comment Request: Supplemental Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking Re Teacher Preparation Issues. Comments due May 2, 2016.