Washington Wrap Up – February 7, 2017

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



House Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee Chairman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) introduced a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to repeal the Department of Education’s (ED) recently promulgated Title II Teacher Preparation regulation. The House Rules Committee will meet on Monday, February 6 to discuss this CRA resolution.

The House Education and the Workforce Committee will hold a hearing on the challenges and opportunities in higher education on Tuesday, February 7. Beth Akers, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute; Dr. William E. Kirwan, Co-Chair, Task Force on Federal Regulation of Higher Education; Dr. José Luis Cruz, President, Lehman College of the City University of New York; and Kevin Gilligan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Capella Education Company will testify.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) announced new hires and staff assignments for the 12 Appropriations subcommittees.

The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee announced its priorities for the 115th Congress.


The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held an Executive Session, during which the Committee voted to favorably report the nomination of Betsy DeVos for ED Secretary to the full Senate by a party line vote of 12-11.

Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME) announced that they would not vote to confirm DeVos as ED Secretary.

The Senate voted 52-48 on the cloture motion on DeVos’ nomination. The cloture vote began up to 30 hours of post-cloture debate on her nomination. Debate will continue on Monday, February 6.

The 30 hours of debate on the nomination of DeVos on the Senate floor began with HELP Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) speaking out in opposition.

The Senate will vote on the nomination of DeVos for ED Secretary next week, as early as Tuesday afternoon.

HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released a statement supporting the nomination of DeVos for ED Secretary.

HELP Committee Ranking Member Murray released a statement opposing the nomination of DeVos for ED Secretary, as well as a statement voicing her concerns about the pace of her nomination process.

The Senate Budget Committee voted to favorably report the nomination of Representative Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) for director of the Office of Management and Budget.

The hearing on Andrew Puzder’s nomination for Secretary for the Department of Labor has been delayed for the fourth time.

More than 200 colleges have given ED notice that they will appeal their gainful employment ratings.

HELP Committee Chairman Alexander announced the chairs and assignments for the Committee’s three subcommittees for the 115th Congress


President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court of the United States.

Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, stated that President Trump has asked him to lead a new task force to identify changes that should be made to ED’s policies and procedures.

ED expanded their staff to include Matt Frendewey, Nate Bailey, Michael Brickman, Gillum Ferguson, Ebony Lee, Laura Rigas and Jana Toner.


Penn Hill Group plans to provide clients with a summary of the following event next week:

  • February 7 House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing on “Challenges and Opportunities in Higher Education”

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

House Republicans Move to Scrap Rules on ESSA, Teacher Preparation [Education Week]

John B. King, Jr. to Lead The Education Trust [Education Week]

Trump Can’t Cut Off Berkeley’s Funds by Himself. His Threat Still Raised Alarm. [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Jerry Falwell’s New Higher-Ed Task Force Could Take Cues From a Private-College Association’s Playbook [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Laureate becomes largest college to become a benefit corporation [Inside Higher Ed]

What Trump’s Supreme Court Choice Might Mean for Higher Ed [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

University of Phoenix parent company goes private [The Washington Post]

Trump’s Executive Order on Regulations Has Unclear Impact on Education Dept. [Education Week]

College endowment returns sink to their lowest level since the financial crisis [The Washington Post]

What You Need to Know About Colleges and the Immigration Ban [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

40 Nobel laureates, thousands of academics sign protest of Trump immigration order [The Washington Post]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Press Release: As Students, Families, Schools Grapple with Effects of Trump’s Immigration Ban, Murray Calls on Betsy DeVos to Announce Position on Action “Wreaking Havoc Throughout Our Education System”

Press Release: Senate Dems Call Out Trump Administration for Appointee Hires with History of Making Racist, Bigoted, and Misogynistic Statement

Press Release: Senate Democrats Urge Republican Leadership to Postpone Committee Vote on Tom Price, Allow Outstanding Ethical Questions to be Fully Answered

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation
February 8: Full Committee Hearing: “A Look Ahead: Inspector General Recommendations for Improving Federal Agencies”
Witnesses: The Honorable Peggy E. Gustafson, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Commerce; The Honorable John Roth, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; The Honorable Calvin L. Scovel III, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Transportation; Ms. Allison C. Lerner, Inspector General, National Science Foundation
10:00 a.m. in 216 Hart Senate Office Building or webcast

Press Release: Four Inspectors General to Testify Before the Commerce Committee

Documents and webcast of yesterday’s Full Committee Hearing: “A Growth Agenda: Reducing Unnecessary Regulatory Burdens”

Senate Committee on the Budget
Documents and webcast of yesterday’s Full Committee Hearing: “Congressional Budget Office’s Budget and Economic Outlook”

Press Release: Enzi: Automatic Spending Programs Threaten to Bankrupt America

House Education and the Workforce Committee
Press Release: Scott, Committee Democrats Seek Commitment from President Trump to Support the Bureau of Labor Statistics Data

Press Release: Scott, Committee Democrats Urge Senate to Fully Account for Puzder’s Business Record
House Committee on the Budget
Documents and webcast of yesterday’s Full Committee Hearing: “The Congressional Budget Office’s Budget and Economic Outlook”

Press Release: A Pro-Growth Budget is Needed to Help Americans Succeed

Legislative Movement in Congress

H.R.795 — To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the exclusion for employer-provided educational assistance to employer payments of qualified education loans.
Sponsor: Rep. Davis, Rodney [R-IL-13] (Introduced 02/01/2017) Cosponsors: (22)
Committees: House – Ways and Means
Latest Action: 02/01/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means

H.R.813 — To restore access to year-round Federal Pell Grants.
Sponsor: Rep. Sanchez, Linda T. [D-CA-38] (Introduced 02/01/2017) Cosponsors: (63)
Committees: House – Education and the Workforce
Latest Action: 02/01/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
Press Release: Reps. Linda Sánchez and Lucille Roybal-Allard Introduce Summer Pell Grant Legislation Restoring Full Year Access

S.268 — A bill to provide the legal framework necessary for the growth of innovative private financing options for students to fund postsecondary education, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Young, Todd C. [R-IN] (Introduced 02/01/2017) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: Senate – Finance
Latest Action: 02/01/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.
Press Release: Sens. Young and Rubio Introduce Investing in Student Success Act

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices

ED Comment Request: 2008/18 Baccalaureate and Beyond (B&B:08/18) Field Test. Comments due April 4, 2017.