Washington Wrap Up — April 19, 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 Senate Appropriations Committee approved subcommittee allocations for fiscal year (FY) 2017 by a vote of 29–1. The subcommittee allocation for the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill is $161.9 billion. This is slightly less than $300 million below the FY2016 allocation for this subcommittee. The House Appropriations Committee has not approved 302b allocations for all subcommittees yet, having only set an interim 302b level for the Military Construction Subcommittee.


ED announced a new process to proactively identify and assist federal student loan borrowers with disabilities who may be eligible for Total and Permanent Disability loan discharge through a data match with the Social Security Administration.

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

See the Donald J. Trump Foundation’s Education- and Child-Related Donations [Education Week]

Hillary Clinton’s ties to for-profit education companies [Inside Higher Ed]

Head of embattled for-profit college accrediting agency resigns [Inside Higher Ed]

Op Ed: Congress should incentivize private employers to help employees repay student loans [The Hill]

Why Lowering Interest Rates Won’t Fix the Student-Debt Problem [The Atlantic]

Los Angeles to Offer Year of Free Community College [Inside Higher Ed]

For-Profit Colleges Seek Reprieve on ‘Gainful Employment’ Rule [Inside Higher Ed]

Are Colleges Too Obsessed With Smartness? [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Pro-Trump chalkings inflame many campuses [Inside Higher Ed]

SUNY Broome Community College’s MOOC a rarity in higher education [Inside Higher Ed]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Press Release: Murray, Franken, Bennet Demand Better Access and Higher Quality Care for Survivors of Sexual Assault

House Education and the Workforce Committee
Press Release: Bipartisan Congressional Delegation Visits Philippines, Australia to Discuss Education and Workforce Policies

Senate Committee on the Budget
April 20: Full Committee Hearing: “Fixing Broken Budget Process and Restoring Stability to Govt. Operations”
Witnesses: Dr. Kevin Hassett, Director of Economic Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute; Dr. Philip Joyce, Senior Associate Dean, University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy; Dr. Norman Ornstein, Research Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
10:30 a.m. in 608 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Documents and webcast of last week’s Hearing: “Fixing the Broken Budget Process: Outcome Budgeting to Maximize Taxpayer Value”

Press Release: GAO Report on Duplication Highlights Effect of Broken Budget Process

Senate Committee on Appropriations
Press Release: Schedule for the Week of April 18, 2016

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration

White House:

  • Press Release: First Lady Michelle Obama to Host 2016 College Signing Day Event in New York

Department of Education:

  • Blog: AfAmWomenLead Initiative Offers Diverse Cultural Experiences for Women and Girls of Color
  • Press Release: U.S. Department of Education Acts to Protect Social Security Benefits for Borrowers with Disabilities
  • Blog: ED Hosts First-Ever Educator Equity Lab

Department of Labor:

  • Blog: #SaveThatMoney – Advice for Young Workers
  • Blog: DOL in Action

Legislative Movement in Congress

H.R.2666: No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act
Sponsor: Rep Kinzinger, Adam [IL-16] (introduced 6/4/2015) Cosponsors (19)
Committees: House Energy and Commerce
House Reports: 114-478
Latest Major Action: 4/15/2016 Passed/agreed to in House. Status: On passage Passed by recorded vote: 241 – 173 (Roll no. 152).
Latest Action: 4/15/2016 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
Press Release: Rep. Kinzinger’s Bill, H.R. 2666, Passes the House

H.RES.684: Recognizing the achievements of America’s high school valedictorians of the graduating class of 2016, encouraging civic engagement, and commending academic excellence of all American high school students.
Sponsor: Rep Meeks, Gregory W. [NY-5] (introduced 4/15/2016) Cosponsors (13)
Committees: House Education and the Workforce
Latest Major Action: 4/15/2016 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

H.R.4941: To amend title 38, United States Code, to clarify the eligibility for monthly stipends paid under the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program for certain members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces.
Sponsor: Rep Calvert, Ken [CA-42] (introduced 4/14/2016) Cosponsors (15)
Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs
Latest Major Action: 4/14/2016 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
Press Release: Rep. Calvert Introduces Legislation to Ensure Military Reservists Receive Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits as Intended

S.2800: A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide an exclusion from income for student loan forgiveness for students who have died or become disabled.
Sponsor: Sen Coons, Christopher A. [DE] (introduced 4/14/2016) Cosponsors (2)
Committees: Senate Finance
Latest Major Action: 4/14/2016 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.
Press Release: Bipartisan bill ends tax penalty on student loan forgiveness for Americans with permanent disabilities and families suffering from the death of a child

S.2784: A bill to ensure that Federal science agencies and institutions of higher education receiving Federal research and development funding are fully engaging the entire national talent pool, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Hirono, Mazie K. [HI] (introduced 4/12/2016) Cosponsors (10)
Committees: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Major Action: 4/12/2016 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
Press Release: On Equal Pay Day, Hirono Leads Measure To End Gender Barriers In STEM Careers

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices

ED Comment Request: Application Package for Strengthening Historically Black Graduate Institutions (HBGI). Comments due May 18, 2016.

ED Comment Request: EZ-Audit: Electronic Submission of Financial Statements and Compliance Audits. Comments due May 16, 2016.

ED Comment Request: Fiscal Operations Report for 2014-2015 and Application to Participate 2016-2017 (FISAP) and Reallocation Form. Comments due May 16, 2016.