Washington Wrap Up – February 14, 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 approved H.J. Res. 58, a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to repeal the Department of Education’s (ED) recently promulgated Title II Teacher Preparation and TEACH Grant regulations. The final vote was 240—181. The resolution has been received in the Senate.

The House Education and the Workforce Committee held a hearing on the challenges and opportunities in higher education. The webcast and testimony can be found here. Additionally, Committee Republicans and Democrats released statements on their priorities.

House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) released a statement congratulating Betsy DeVos on her confirmation to serve as ED Secretary.

House Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) released a statement opposing DeVos’ confirmation and commending Senate Democrats on their investigation of DeVos’ record.

The House Appropriations Committee announced Members’ Day hearings for February and March.


Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released a statement supporting the confirmation of DeVos, which includes his remarks given on the Senate floor.

HELP Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) released a statement opposing the confirmation of DeVos, which includes her remarks given on the Senate floor.

The Senate voted to confirm DeVos as ED Secretary. The final vote was 51—50, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote.

Senate Democrats on the HELP Committee requested the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate the stock market trading activities of Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) nominee Representative Tom Price (R-GA) and postpone his confirmation vote until the investigation is complete.

Senate Democrats sent a letter to Price asking whether he supports President Trump’s Executive Order on immigration.

The Senate voted to confirm Price as HHS Secretary. The final vote was 52—47.

The HELP Committee rescheduled Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor nominee Andrew Puzder’s confirmation hearing from February 7 to February 16.


President Trump released the final list of his nominees to serve on his Cabinet.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revoked the designations of the companies that had been approved as broadband providers for the Lifeline program. The decision limits the companies’ ability to provide subsidized broadband access.

The FCC rescinded its report “E-Rate Modernization: Progress and the Road Ahead,” which describes the FCC’s 2014 effort to overhaul the E-rate program and subsidize the cost of telecommunications services.


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

  • February 16: Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on the “Nomination of Andrew Puzder to serve as Secretary of Labor”

Education News Headlines

Appeals Court Declines to Reinstate Trump’s Travel Ban [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Program management market expands to the boot camp space [Inside Higher Ed]

Hatch meets with major tech firms, will release ‘innovation agenda’ [The Hill]

Career and Technical Education Advocates Pushing for Changes Under Trump [Education Week]

598 colleges have ‘concerns’ on Trump travel ban [The Hill]

States report 3.4 percent increase in higher education appropriations [Inside Higher Ed]

16 Attorneys General: Trump Order Harms Higher Ed [Inside Higher Ed]

Calls for ‘sanctuary’ campuses multiply as fears grow over Trump immigration policy [The Washington Post]

Growth in charitable contributions to colleges slows in 2016 [Inside Higher Ed]

Colleges Get Unusually Large Share of Contributions [The Chronicle of Philanthropy]

Betsy DeVos Survived a Historic Confirmation Fight. What’s Next for Higher Ed? [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: Led by Murray, Senate Dems Kick Off Final 24 Hours of Debate on Betsy DeVos, Urge Just One More Republican to Stand with Overwhelming Majority of Americans in Opposition to Her Nomination
Press Release: Murray Statement on Status of Puzder Nomination
Press Release: In Speech on Senate Floor, Sen. Murray Urges Republicans to Vote NO on Congressman Price for Health and Human Services Secretary; Cites Serious Ethical Concerns, Long Record Seeking to Undermine Women’s Health, and His Plans to Leave Millions Without Health Care

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation
Documents from yesterday’s Full Committee Hearing: “A Look Ahead: Inspector General Recommendations for Improving Federal Agencies”

Senate Committee on Appropriations
February 15: Labor, HHS and Education Subcommittee Hearing: “Mental Health Care: Examining Treatments and Services”
Witnesses: Dr. Joseph Parks, Ph.D, Medical Director, National Council for Behavioral Health, Distinguished Professor of Science, Missouri Institute for Mental Health, University of Missouri–St. Louis; Dr. David M. Johnson, Ed.D, LMHC, Chief Executive Officer, Navos Mental Health Solutions; Dr. Dennis S. Freeman, Ph.D, Chief Executive Officer, Cherokee Health Systems; Chief Donald W. De Lucca, President, International Association of Chiefs of Police
10:30 a.m. in 138 Dirksen Senate Office Building or webcast Senate Committee on the Budget

Senate Committee on the Budget
Press Release: Chairman Enzi Welcomes Senator Strange to Budget Committee

House Committee on Science, Space & Technology
February 14: Subcommittee Hearing: “Strengthening U.S. Cybersecurity Capabilities”
Witnesses: Dr. Charles H. Romine, Director, Information Technology Lab, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); Mr. Iain Mulholland, Industry Member, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Cyber Policy Task Force; Chief Technology Officer, Security, VMware, Inc.; Dr. Diana Burley, Executive Director and Chair, Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection (I3P); Professor, Human and Organizational Learning, The George Washington University; Mr. Gregory Wilshusen, Director, Information Security Issues, U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)
10:00 a.m. in 2318 Rayburn House Office Building or webcast

The Department of Education and the Administration
Department of Education

  • Press Release: Statement from U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Visiting Howard University During Its 150th Anniversary
  • Press Release: U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Addresses Full Staff

Department of Labor

  • Blog: 13 Things An American Job Center Can Do For You

The White House

  • Blog: Vice President Pence Casts Historic Vote to Confirm Betsy DeVos


Legislative Movement in Congress

H.R.996 — To direct the Secretary of Labor to establish a competitive grant program for community colleges to train veterans for local jobs.
Sponsor: Rep. Kihuen, Ruben [D-NV-4] (Introduced 02/09/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Veterans’ Affairs
Latest Action: 02/09/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

H.Res.86 — Providing amounts for the expenses of the Committee on Education and the Workforce in the One Hundred Fifteenth Congress.
Sponsor: Rep. Foxx, Virginia [R-NC-5] (Introduced 02/03/2017) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House – House Administration
Latest Action: 02/03/2017 Referred to the House Committee on House Administration.

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices

ED Comment Request: Application for Grants under the Veterans Upward Bound Program (1894-0006). Comments due March 10, 2017.

ED Grant Notice: Upward Bound Math and Science Program. Applications due March 22, 2017.