Washington Wrap Up – October 3, 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 Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) released a statement opposing the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) decision to rescind the Obama Administration’s Title IX guidance.


The Senate Budget Committee released text of its draft fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget resolution, which does not include reconciliation instructions to produce savings in Federal spending for the House Education and the Workforce Committee or the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

After a number of Republican Senators voiced their opposition, Senate Republican leadership announced that the Senate will not vote on Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy’s (R-LA) health care reform bill.

Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released a statement on the Perkins Loan Program, which expired on September 30.

Senate Democrats sent a letter to ED Secretary Betsy DeVos opposing ED’s decision to rescind the Obama Administration’s Title IX guidance and ED’s new guidance around Title IX enforcement entitled, “Q&A on Campus Sexual Misconduct,” as well as urging DeVos to reinstate the previous guidance.

The Senate HELP Committee postponed a scheduled vote on President Trump’s nominee to serve as General Counsel of ED Carlos Muñiz, along with several other nominees to the U.S. Department of Labor and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The vote has yet to be rescheduled.


The White House formally nominated Jim Blew for the position of Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development at ED.

Following the expiration of his travel ban, President Trump issued a new order indefinitely banning most travel to the U.S. from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea starting October 18. Administration officials said the new rules would not apply to legal permanent residents of the U.S. and visitors holding valid visas from those countries. In response, the Supreme Court of the United States cancelled oral arguments on President Trump’s first travel ban and asked lawyers in the case involving President Trump’s previous ban to submit briefs on the new order by October 5.

President Trump and Congressional Republican leadership announced the framework of a new tax package which includes: the creation of three tax rates, 35, 25 and 12 percent; the elimination of the estate tax; the elimination of the State and local tax deduction; an increase in the standard deduction; the elimination of the additional standard deduction and personal exemption; and an increase to the child tax credit. The framework also mentions continued support for current higher education tax breaks and maintaining existing charitable deductions.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has accused 10 individuals, including a top Adidas executive and four assistant basketball coaches, with making bribes to influence star athletes’ choice of schools, shoe sponsors, agents, financial advisers and/or business managers.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) would file a “statement of interest” in a lawsuit involving a Georgia public college’s use of “free speech zones” and that DOJ intends to make more such filings.

ED released non-regulatory guidance in an effort to help ED grantees and program participants “remove barriers to restoring teaching and learning environments and to expediting the recovery process” for those impacted by the recent hurricanes.

ED Secretary DeVos announced the hiring of Dr. Michael Wooten, as Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, and Dr. Leonard Haynes, as Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary.

Education Week reported that the presidential advisory commissions on educational excellence for black, Hispanic, and Asian American and Pacific Islander students in K-12 schools and college have not met since President Trump took office. Members of the groups have reached out to the White House but have yet to receive a response.

ED released the FY2014 3-year Federal student loan cohort default rate, finding that the rate increased slightly from 11.3 percent to 11.5 percent for students who entered repayment between FY2013 and FY2014.

ED updated the College Scorecard with new data and a new comparison feature.

President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum directing ED Secretary DeVos to establish priorities within existing competitive grant programs at ED in order to increase access to science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, with a particular focus on increasing opportunities in Computer Science.

Education News Headlines
What Does the End of Obama’s Title IX Guidance Mean for Colleges? [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Research universities partner to increase low-income student graduation [Inside Higher Ed]

DeVos Says Obama-Era Consumer Rule Was Akin to ‘Free Money’ [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Graduation Rates for Dual-Enrolled Students [Inside Higher Ed]

The Rural Higher-Education Crisis [The Atlantic]

The number of people defaulting on federal student loans is climbing [The Washington Post]

Reinventing Employer Signaling in a Rapidly Changing Talent Marketplace [U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Blog]
USCCF report: “Clearer Signals: Building an Employer-Led Job Registry for Talent Pipeline Management”

At Harvard, DeVos Talks Choice; Protestors Yell ‘White Supremacy’  [Education Week]

Democrats Try To Force Dream Act Vote, As GOP Rolls Out Conservative DACA Fix [National Public Radio]

College Enrollment Projected to Grow 15% by 2025 [Inside Higher Ed]

Perkins Loan Extension Blocked in House, Senate [Inside Higher Ed]

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration

U.S. Department of Education
Speech: Prepared Remarks by Secretary DeVos to JFK Jr. Forum at Harvard Kennedy School

Blog: Lifelong Learning: A Roadway to Success

U.S. Department of Labor
DOL Blog: Maintenance Apprenticeship Offers Path to Professional Career

Yesterday in Congress
H.R.3828 — To support educational entities in fully implementing title IX and reducing and preventing sex discrimination in all areas of education.
Sponsor: Rep. Slaughter, Louise McIntosh [D-NY-25] (Introduced 09/25/2017) Cosponsors: (2)
Committees: House – Education and the Workforce
Latest Action: House – 09/25/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

H.R.3831 — To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to expand eligibility for participation in the Federal Pell Grant program to certain trade schools.
Sponsor: Rep. Taylor, Scott [R-VA-2] (Introduced 09/26/2017) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House – Education and the Workforce
Latest Action:  House – 09/26/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
Press Release: Congressman Taylor Introduces Bipartisan PROPEL Act

H.R.3869 — To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to direct the Secretary of Education to establish a process for accrediting agencies or associations to seek a waiver of certain accreditation requirements.
Sponsor: Rep. Byrne, Bradley [R-AL-1] (Introduced 09/28/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Education and the Workforce
Latest Action:  House – 09/28/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

H.R.3354 — Interior and Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, Commerce, Justice, Science, Financial Services and General Government, Homeland Security, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, State and Foreign Operations, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Legislative Branch, and Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 2018
Sponsor: Rep. Calvert, Ken [R-CA-42] (Introduced 07/21/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Appropriations Committee Reports: H. Rept. 115-238
Latest Action:  Senate – 09/27/2017 Read the second time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 230.

H.R.3870 — To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to lower the cost of college education by establishing pilot programs to expand student access to digital course materials.
Sponsor: Rep. DelBene, Suzan K. [D-WA-1] (Introduced 09/28/2017) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House – Education and the Workforce
Latest Action:  House – 09/28/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
Press Release: DelBene Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Lower College Textbook Costs

S.1866 — Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria Education Relief Act of 2017
Sponsor: Sen. Alexander, Lamar [R-TN] (Introduced 09/26/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Latest Action:  09/29/2017 Presented to President.
S.1887 — A bill to grant expedited hiring authority to the head of an agency to appoint college graduates and post-secondary students.
Sponsor: Sen. Lankford, James [R-OK] (Introduced 09/28/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: Senate – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Latest Action:  Senate – 09/28/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices
ED Comment Request: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Regulatory Requirements. Comments due November 27, 2017.

ED Grant Notice Extension: Education Research and Development Centers competition and the Research Networks Focused on Critical Problems of Policy and Practice in Special Education competition. Applications now due October 26, 2017.

ED Updated waivers and modifications of statutory and regulatory requirements: Federal Student Aid Programs (Student Assistance General Provisions, Federal Perkins Loan Program, Federal Family Education Loan Program, and the Federal Direct Loan Program). The waivers and modifications begin on September 29, 2017. The waivers and modifications in this document expire on September 30, 2022.