Washington Wrap Up – October 25, 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 Senate passed its fiscal year 2018 budget resolution by a vote of 51—49. The bill provides reconciliation instructions that allow $1.5 trillion in deficit spending over 10 years for the purpose of passing tax cuts. The bill 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. Roll Call reported that the House may consider the Senate-passed budget resolution as early as this week.

The Senate HELP Committee approved the nomination of Carlos Muñiz to serve as General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Education (ED), as well as nominees to serve at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, by a vote of 12—11, along party lines. Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released a statement supporting the nominees.

Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that they reached a short-term bipartisan health care deal to provide two years of temporary cost-sharing payments and give States more flexibility in terms of consumer choices of insurance. President Trump has publicly opposed the deal, and prominent Republican Senators are questioning its ability to pass the Senate and House.

Nine Democratic Members of the Senate HELP Committee sent a letter to ED Secretary Betsy DeVos and Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Candice Jackson requesting information on how ED plans to enforce interim guidance following ED’s decision to revoke the Obama Administration’s Title IX guidance.


Federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland ruled against President Trump’s most recent travel ban, with the Federal judge in Hawaii issuing a temporary restraining order blocking implementation. Administration officials said the new rules would not apply to legal permanent residents of the U.S. and visitors holding valid visas from the countries listed in the ban.

Attorneys general from 17 States and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against ED, alleging illegal delaying of the enforcement of certain provisions in the gainful employment regulations.

ED published, in the Federal Register, a rule that: (1) allows certain regulatory provisions to not apply to foreign higher education institutions that can no longer operate in their home country due to the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria and (2) would allow these institutions to temporarily operate in another country if the institution meets certain requirements and is approved by the Secretary.


Penn Hill Group plans to provide clients with summaries of the following events next week:

  • October 24: House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee Hearing: “Public-Private Solutions to Educating a Cyber Workforce”
  • October 26: Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Hearing: “Exploring Free Speech on College Campuses”

Education News Headlines

Advocates hold vigil at Education Department for survivors of campus assaults [Inside Higher Ed]

A third of students applying to college via Common App are first-Gen [The Washington Post]

Stage Now Set for GOP Tax Cuts That Could Alter Education Funding [Education Week]

How racism could affect black students’ college-enrollment decisions [The Atlantic]

‘Blueprint’ for Federal Student-Level Data System [Inside Higher Ed]

Could Betsy DeVos’ Pitch to Expand School Choice Help Dual Enrollment?  [Education Week]

Legislators crank up interest in community college completion [Inside Higher Ed]

Half of black student loan borrowers default, new federal data show  [Inside Higher Ed]

‘Insanely worried’: Students and colleges urge Congress to protect ‘dreamers’ [The Washington Post]

How Far Behind Is Trump in Staffing the Ed. Dept. Compared to Obama? [Education Week]

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration
Department of Education
ED Press Release: Secretary DeVos Releases Statement on President’s Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion

ED Speech: Prepared Remarks by Secretary DeVos to the Washington Policy Center

ED Press Release: Osso VR Chosen as Winner in EdSim Challenge

White House
White House Press Release: Statement Regarding Senate Passage of its Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Resolution

Legislative Movement in Congress

H.R.4083 — American Apprenticeship Act
Sponsor: Rep. DeLauro, Rosa L. [D-CT-3] (Introduced 10/19/2017) Cosponsors: (2)
Committees: House – Education and the Workforce
Latest Action:  House – 10/19/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
Press Release: DeLauro, Kilmer, Fitzpatrick Introduce Bipartsan Apprenticeship Bill

H.Con.Res.71 — Establishing the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2018 and setting forth the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2019 through 2027.
Sponsor: Rep. Black, Diane [R-TN-6] (Introduced 07/21/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Budget Committee Reports: H. Rept. 115-240
Latest Action:  Senate – 10/19/2017 Resolution agreed to in Senate with an amendment by Yea-Nay Vote. 51 – 49. Record Vote Number: 245.

S.Con.Res.25 — An original concurrent resolution setting forth the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2018 and setting forth the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2019 through 2027.
Sponsor: Sen. Enzi, Michael B. [R-WY] (Introduced 10/13/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: Senate – Budget
Latest Action:  Senate – 10/13/2017 Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 238.

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices

ED Comment Request: Personal Authentication Service (PAS) for FSA ID. Comments due December 18, 2017.

ED Comment Request: Student Assistance General Provision—Subpart I—Immigration Status Confirmation. Comments due December 15, 2017.

ED Updated waivers and modifications of statutory and regulatory requirements; republication: Federal Student Aid Programs (Student Assistance General Provisions, Federal Perkins Loan Program, Federal Family Education Loan Program, and the Federal Direct Loan Program)