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 Ways and Means Committee completed marking up the House GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. During the markup, several changes were made to the education-related provisions of the tax bill, including reducing the number of institutions with endowments that would be impacted by the bill’s endowment excise tax. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has stated that the full House will likely consider this bill this week.
The House Education and the Workforce Committee will hold a hearing to examine the policies and priorities of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on Wednesday, November 15.
The Senate Finance Committee released details on the Senate GOP’s version of tax cut legislation. Like the House bill, the measure would place a tax on the income of endowments at private institutions of higher education and tax the cost of sport seat licenses at colleges and universities. The bill would also eliminate the ability to deduct state and local taxes for individual taxpayers, in contrast to the House’s partial preservation of this tax deduction. However, the measure does not include several of the higher education related provisions that are included in the House bill: the bill does not consolidate the American Opportunity Tax Credit and Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits, and does not eliminate the tuition reduction tax benefits available to students and employees of institutions of higher education or those receiving employer-provided tuition reimbursement. In addition, the Senate bill does not include the House proposal to consolidate Coverdell Education Savings Accounts into 529 education savings plans or allow for such benefits to cover elementary and secondary expenses.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee announced a confirmation hearing for several of President Trump’s nominees for positions at the Departments of Education (ED) and Labor. The Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday, November 15 on the nominations of Mick Zais to be Deputy Secretary and Jim Blew to be Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development, both at ED, as well as Patricia O’Scannlain to be Solicitor and Preston Rutledge to be Assistant Secretary for the Employee Benefits Security Administration at DOL.
The Senate voted to confirm Peter Robb as the General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board.
The Administration withdrew the nomination of Tim Kelly to be the Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, And Adult Education citing comments he made in a series of blog posts.
Negotiators charged with rewriting the Borrower Defense to Repayment and Financial Responsibility regulations had their first meeting.
Penn Hill Group plans to provide clients with a summary of the following event next week:
• November 15: Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing: Nominations, including Mick Zais to be Deputy Secretary and Jim Blew to be Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development, both at ED, as well as Patricia O’Scannlain to be Solicitor and Preston Rutledge to be Assistant Secretary for the Employee Benefits Security Administration at the Department of Labor.
Education News Headlines
Defining Colleges’ Liability for Fraud Claims [Inside Higher Ed]
Republican Tax Proposal Gets Failing Grade From Higher-Ed Groups [The Chronicle of Higher Education]
Shutdown threat growing over immigration fight [The Hill]
DeVos Comments On LGBT Rules; Her Husband’s Political Contributions Questioned [National Public Radio]
Report Highlights Rising Cost of College [Inside Higher Ed]
A Lack of Tuition Strategy: States lack coordination and clarity to address affordability [Inside Higher Ed]
How Colleges Can Help Low-Income Students [Inside Higher Ed]
Another Small College, St. Gregory’s U., Is Closing [The Chronicle of Higher Education]
These Universities Benefit From an Offshore Tax Loophole [The Chronicle of Higher Education]
Inside Betsy DeVos’s efforts to shrink the Education Department [The Washington Post]
2 Education Department hires start work before Senate confirmation [Politico]
Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor
House Education and the Workforce Committee
November 15: Committee Hearing: “Examining the Policies and Priorities of the U.S. Department of Labor”
Witness: The Honorable R. Alexander Acosta, Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor
10:00 a.m. in 2175 Rayburn House office Building or webcast
Press Release: House Passes Save Local Business Act
Press Release: House Passes Anti-Worker Bill that Weakens Workplace Protections
Documents & Webcast of Nov 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”
Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
November 15: Committee Hearing: Nominations, including Mitchell Zais to be Deputy Secretary of Education, James Blew to be Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development of Education and Timothy Kelly to be Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education
2:30 PM in 430 Dirksen Senate Office Building or webcast
Press Releases: Alexander on Senate Confirmation of Kyle Fortson as a Member of the National Mediation Board
Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation
Documents & Webcast of Nov 8 Committee Hearing: “Protecting Consumers in the Era of Major Data Breaches”
Documents & Webcast of Nov 8 Executive Session: Legislative Measures and Nominations
U.S. Department of Labor
Press Release: U.S. Department of Labor Announces HIRE Vets Medallion Program
Legislative Movement in Congress
H.R.3922 — CHAMPION Act
Sponsor: Rep. Walden, Greg [R-OR-2] (Introduced 10/03/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means
Latest Action: Senate – 11/06/2017 Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.
H.R.3949 — Veterans Apprenticeship and Labor Opportunity Reform Act
To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for the designation of State approving agencies for multi-State apprenticeship programs for purposes of the educational assistance programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs, with an amendment.
Sponsor: Rep. Himes, James [D-CT-4] (Introduced 08/01/2017) Cosponsors: (7)
Committees: House – Education and the Workforce
Latest Action: House – 11/07/2017 Motion to reconsider laid on the table. Agreed to without objection.
H.R.4274 — Higher Education Reform and Opportunity (HERO) Act.
To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide for accreditation reform, to require institutions of higher education to publish information regarding student success, to provide for fiscal accountability, and to provide for school accountability for student loans.
Sponsor: Rep. DeSantis, Ron [R-FL-6] (Introduced 11/07/2017) Cosponsors: (17)
Committees: House – Education and the Workforce
Latest Action: House – 11/07/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
Press Release: DeSantis Introduces Higher Education Reform Bill
Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices
ED Comment Request: Federal Family Educational Loan Program (FFEL)-Administrative Requirements for States, Not-for-Profit Lenders, and Eligible Lenders Trustees. Comments due December 6, 2017.
ED Notice: Authorization of Subgrants for the High School Career and Technical Education Teacher Pathway Initiative. Grantees may begin making subgrants on November 7, 2017.