Washington Wrap Up – February 1, 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 Members on the House Education and the Workforce Committee have been finalized.

House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee Chairman Tim Walberg (R-MI) issued a statement applauding President Trump’s executive action “minimizing the economic burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

The House Education and the Workforce Committee adopted, during their organizational meeting, the Committee’s rules and oversight plan for the 115th Congress.


The HELP Committee rescheduled the date of the Committee’s executive session on the funding resolution, adoption of Committee rules and subcommittee assignments, including the nomination of Betsy DeVos to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) from Tuesday, January 24 to Tuesday, January 31.

HELP Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) sent a letter to Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor nominee Andrew Puzder requesting that he release three years of tax returns and urging him to provide the required Committee paperwork with sufficient time in advance of his nomination hearing.

The HELP Committee rescheduled Mr. Puzder’s nomination hearing to Tuesday, February 7. Ranking Member Murray issued a statement voicing her concerns over the rescheduling.

The Senate Budget Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Representative Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget. Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) released a statement supporting Mulvaney’s nomination.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-VT) announced the subcommittee chairs, ranking members and membership of the Committee for the 115th Congress.


President Trump issued a memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies announcing a regulatory freeze on pending regulations.

ED announced that, in accordance with President Trump’s “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review” memorandum, the effective dates of the open licensing requirement for competitive grant programs and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act will be delayed until March 21, 2017.

Jason Botel, the former State director of the Maryland Campaign for Achievement Now (an organization that advocates for charter schools and the use of student achievement in teacher and school accountability) will serve as a senior education adviser for the White House.

ED released its latest list of colleges facing sexual-violence investigations, under Title IX, after initially signaling that they would not do so and HELP Committee Ranking Member Murray issued a statement voicing her concerns over ED not releasing the list.

The Higher Learning Commission approved the extension of the University of Phoenix’s accreditation after the sale of the Apollo Education Group, the parent company of the University of Phoenix.

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

Support for Income-Share Agreements Over Loans [Inside Higher Ed]

Accreditor Questions Alabama Governance [Inside Higher Ed]

Center for American Progress report: Starting Strong – How to Improve Teachers’ Entry into the Profession

What Does Trump’s Hiring Freeze Mean for the Education Department? [Education Week]

How will Trump’s proposed border wall affect higher education collaborations and exchange? [Inside Higher Ed]

Dems promise to stand up to FCC chair on net neutrality [The Hill]

National coalition of attorneys general launches effort to stop embattled college accreditor [The Washington Post]

Study suggests grading leniency is result rather than cause of low grading reliability [Inside Higher Ed]

DeVos Files Financial Disclosure, Ethics Letter Vowing to Divest Education Assets [Education Week]

9 questions with the man who oversaw higher education under Obama [The Atlantic]

A ‘Shot Over the Bow’: Groups Respond to Reported Plan to Cut Arts and Humanities Endowments [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Press Release: After Murray Push, Trump Dept. of Ed Releases List of Investigations into Mishandled Sexual Assault Cases on Campus

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation
Press Release: Commerce Approves 16 Bills and Two Cabinet Nominations at First Markup of 115th Congress

Press Release: Thune Outlines Commerce Committee Tech Agenda for 115th Congress

House Education and the Workforce Committee
Blog: What Betsy DeVos’ Nomination Means for Women and Girls on Campuses and in Classrooms

Press Release: Democrats Call for Strengthening Working Families in the 115th Congress

House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
Press Release: House Passes Energy Research and Innovation Bill

House Committee on the Budget
February 2: Full Committee Hearing: “The Congressional Budget Office’s Budget and Economic Outlook”
Witness: Keith Hall, Director, Congressional Budget Office
10:00 a.m. in 1334 Longworth House Office Building

Legislative Movement in Congress

H.R.675 — To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to expand the coverage of qualified tuition programs and increase the limitation on contributions to Coverdell education savings accounts.
Sponsor: Rep. McHenry, Patrick T. [R-NC-10] (Introduced 01/24/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Ways and Means
Latest Action: 01/24/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices

ED Comment Request: Loan Discharge Application: Forgery. Comments due March 24, 2017.

ED Comment Request: System of records entitled “Health Education Assistance Loan (HEAL) program. Comments due February 22, 2017.