Washington Wrap Up – January 24, 2017

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



The House Education and the Workforce Committee held their organizational meeting to adopt the Committee’s rules and Oversight plan for the 115th Congress on Tuesday, January 24 at 11:15am.

House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) announced the new Republican and Democratic members who will serve on the Committee for the 115th Congress.


The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Betsy DeVos to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (ED). The webcast and testimony can be found here.

The HELP Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Representative Tom Price (R-GA) to serve as Secretary of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The webcast and testimony can be found here.

HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released a statement supporting the nomination of Betsy DeVos to serve as ED Secretary, which also includes his prepared opening remarks for the hearing on her nomination.

HELP Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) released a statement voicing her concerns about Betsy DeVos’ nomination, which also includes her prepared opening remarks for the hearing on her nomination.

HELP Committee Chairman Alexander released a statement supporting the nomination of Representative Price as well as the simultaneous repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act. The statement also includes his prepared opening remarks for the hearing on his nomination.

HELP Committee Ranking Member Murray released a statement voicing her concerns about Representative Price’s nomination, which also includes her prepared opening remarks for the hearing on his nomination.

HELP Committee Chairman Alexander announced that the Committee plans to hold a hearing on the nomination of Andy Puzder to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday, February 2.


ED announced that Deputy General Counsel Philip Rosenfelt was named as Acting ED Secretary until an ED Secretary is sworn in.

The Office of Government Ethics published Betsy DeVos’ public financial disclosure report and ethics agreement.

The U.S. Department of Treasury and ED announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a framework regarding the requirements for electronically sharing tax data over multiple years for Federal student loan borrowers participating in Income-Driven Repayment plans.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is suing Navient, the country’s largest servicer of Federal and private student loans, for allegedly violating the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act.

ED Secretary King sent a dispatch titled ‘America has the right to a great public education.’

ED published, in the Federal Register, a Final Rule on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which changes the name of the office to the Office of the Chief Privacy Officer in order to reflect additional committed resources and to increase internal efficiency.

ED published, in the Federal Register, a Final Rule on Federal policy for the protection of human subjects to modernize, simplify and enhance the current system of oversight.

ED published, in the Federal Register, a Final Rule on the open licensing requirement for competitive grant programs, which amends the regulations of the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.

ED published, in the Federal Register, a Final Rule on the Student Assistance General Provisions, which updates ED’s hearing procedures for actions to establish liability against an institution of higher education and establishes procedural rules governing recovery proceedings under ED’s borrower defense regulations.

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

In Senate hearing, DeVos stoked activists’ fears that she will ignore education civil rights [The Washington Post]

Assessing President Obama’s far-reaching impact on higher education [Inside Higher Ed]

Key Democrat requests tax returns from Betsy DeVos, Trump’s education pick [The Washington Post]

Betsy DeVos omitted $125,000 anti-union political donation from Senate disclosure form [The Washington Post]

5 Things to Know About Betsy DeVos [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Just how much money has Donald Trump’s secretary of Education choice given to Republicans? [The Los Angeles Times]

What we learned about Betsy DeVos’s higher education positions … not much [The Washington Post]

DeVos Takes Center Stage: Highlights From Her Confirmation Hearing [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Dems raise concern about possible links between DeVos and student debt collection agency [The Washington Post]

More People Over 60 Are Struggling To Pay Off Student Loans, Report Finds [National Public Radio]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation
Press Release: Commerce Sets First Markup of 115th Congress

Senate Committee on the Budget
January 24: Full Committee Hearing: Nomination of Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) to lead OMB
10:30 a.m. in 608 Dirksen Office Building or webcast

The Department of Labor and the Administration
Department of Labor

  • Press Release: U.S. Labor Department Awards Nearly $2M to Support University-Based Labor Research, Evaluation

The White House

  • Blog: The Obama Administration Digital Transition: Moving Forward

Legislative Movement in Congress

9 — A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide student loan deferment for victims of terrorist attacks.
Sponsor: Sen. Rubio, Marco [R-FL] (Introduced 01/17/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Action: 01/17/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices

ED Comment Request: GEPA Section 427 Guidance for All Grant Applications.
Comments due February 17, 2017.

ED Comment Request: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2017-18 through 2019-20. Comments due February 17, 2017.