Washington Wrap Up – November 8, 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 Republicans released their tax bill Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which amends or repeals sections or provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. Among the education-related changes, the bill would place an excise tax on endowment earnings at certain private institutions, end the deduction of student loan interest, consolidate Hope and Lifetime Learning Tax credits into a newly structured American Opportunity Tax Credit, count tuition reimbursement as income for individuals, limit the ability to deduct State and local taxes to just the first $10,000 of property taxes, consolidate Coverdell education savings accounts into section 529 plans, and expand section 529 plans to cover expenses associated with apprenticeship programs.

House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) released a statement supporting the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.


In response to the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) announcement rescinding 600 pieces of guidance, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released a statement supporting ED’s actions and Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) released a statement opposing ED’s actions.

Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray announced the support of more than 200 groups for their short-term bipartisan legislation to stabilize premiums and access to insurance in individual health insurance markets.

Ranking Member Murray released a statement calling on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to allow the Alexander-Murray health care legislation to come up for a vote in the Senate.

Ranking Member Murray released a statement following reports that ED Secretary Betsy DeVos is considering providing partial relief for students who were defrauded by their institution of higher education.


President Trump announced his intent to nominate Douglas Webster to serve as Chief Financial Officer at ED. Webster is the current director of risk management at the U.S. Agency of International Development.

The attorneys general who have already filed a lawsuit challenging ED’s delay of the Borrower Defense to Repayment (BDR) regulations in court filed an amended complaint that argues that the new delay did not go through the appropriate public comment process, as well as challenges the merits of ED’s argument to justify the delay. Maine Attorney General Janet Mills has also signed onto the lawsuit, bringing the total number of States suing DeVos to 19 plus the District of Columbia.

President Trump had a meeting with several Senate Republicans where they agreed that a legislative measure on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program would not be included as part of a fiscal year 2018 appropriations bill.

ED has offered 255 employees early retirement in exchange for a buyout.

Education News Headlines

Former Obama Official Will Lead TICAS [Inside Higher Ed]

Trump Slammed Jeb Bush, But His Former Staffers Are Joining Betsy DeVos [Education Week]

Elevating economic mobility on the agenda of higher education leaders [Inside Higher Ed]

What’s the Ideal Mix of Online and Face-to-Face Classes? [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

High hopes but few details for Trump’s $200 million STEM pledge [EdSource]

Career and Tech Ed. Courses Don’t Boost Chances of College-Going, Study Finds [Education Week]

DeVos blames Trump transition team for shaky confirmation hearings [The Hill]

Tuition-free community college programs gain exposure at critical time [Inside Higher Ed]

Revised Data Shows Community Colleges Have Been Underappreciated [The New York Times]

College Endowments on Table in Tax Overhaul [Inside Higher Ed]

GOP tax overhaul would eliminate tax breaks used by colleges and students [Inside Higher Ed]

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration

ED Speech: Prepared Remarks from Secretary DeVos to the Future Farmers of America (FFA) National Conference and Expo

NCS Blog: Research Center Releases First Community College to Graduate and Professional Degrees Snapshot Report

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Press Release: Sen. Murray, Rep. Roybal-Allard Renew Efforts to Empower Domestic Violence Survivors By Breaking Down Economic & Educational Barriers

House Education and the Workforce Committee
November 8: Joint Subcommittee Hearing (Subcommittees on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education and Higher Education and Workforce Development): “Close to Home: How Opioids are Impacting Communities”
Witnesses: to be announced
*note new time* 10:30 a.m. in 2175 Rayburn House Office Building or webcast

Legislative Movement in Congress

H.R.4162 — To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to adjust the period of eligibility for Federal Pell Grants, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Grothman, Glenn [R-WI-6] (Introduced 10/27/2017) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House – Education and the Workforce
Latest Action:  House – 10/27/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

H.R.4181 — To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 regarding proprietary institutions of higher education in order to protect students and taxpayers.
Sponsor: Rep. Cohen, Steve [D-TN-9] (Introduced 10/31/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Education and the Workforce
Latest Action:  House – 10/31/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

S.2043 — A bill to promote the economic security and safety of survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Murray, Patty [D-WA] (Introduced 10/31/2017) Cosponsors: (8)
Committees: Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Action:  Senate – 10/31/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices

NSF Notice: Request for Recommendations for Membership on Stem Education Advisory Panel.