Washington Wrap Up – January 9, 2018

Below is an abridged version of RAMC’s weekly Washington Wrap Up. Find out more about Wrap Up and other RAMC resources here.


Congressional leaders met with Trump Administration officials in an effort to work toward a budget deal, during which they discussed Federal spending levels, immigration and border security. There were no public announcements of any specific agreements following this meeting. Of note, the Continuing Resolution currently funding the Federal government expires on January 19.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) inspector general requesting an investigation into ED’s use of earnings data to grant partial student loan forgiveness to borrowers who were defrauded by their institutions of higher education.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has scheduled an executive session on Thursday, January 11 to consider nominations for ED and U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) positions. Nominations that are expected to be voted upon during this session include Mick Zais for ED Deputy Secretary, Kenneth Marcus for ED Civil Rights Assistant Secretary, Jim Blew for ED Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development Assistant Secretary and Patrick Pizzella for DOL Deputy Secretary.


The negotiated rulemaking committee on the borrower defense to repayment regulations will hold their second set of meetings this week. ED released a series of papers containing their proposal for new regulations in this area, which outline ED’s initial positions heading into the negotiations and will be the focus of debate in this week’s meetings.

James Lynn Woodworth has been appointed as Commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics.


Penn Hill Group plans to provide clients with a summary of the following event next week:
January 11: Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Executive Session

Education News Headlines

New U.S. data show continued growth in college students studying online [Inside Higher Ed]

Trump Taps Stanford Researcher for NCES Commissioner [Education Week]

Education Dept. Considers Tougher Rules On Loan Forgiveness In Fraud Cases [National Public Radio]

Dozens more colleges will pay endowment taxes if growth rates continue [Inside Higher Ed]

Racial minorities feel like outsiders at some colleges, USC diversity expert says [EdSource]

Perspective | To regain support for colleges, trustees need to step up [The Washington Post]

Proposal would add intent standard for borrowers applying for loan relief [Inside Higher Ed]

Trump, Congress, and Education in 2018: Eight Big Questions [Education Week]

From DACA To DeVos: Education Predictions For 2018 [National Public Radio]

9 charts that show what education in America is like in 2017 [The Atlantic]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor

House Committee on the Budget
Press Release: Chairman Black Praises Tax Reform Signed into Law

Press Release: Yarmuth on Passage of GOP Tax Scam: “A flagrant betrayal of American families and our national interests”

Press Release: Chairman Black to Step Down as Leader of House Budget Committee

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Press Release: Alexander Statement on Senator Hatch Announcement

Press Release: Chairman Alexander on 2017: 13 HELP Bills Signed into Law, 32 Trump Nominees Sent to Floor

Senate Committee on Appropriations
Press Release: Cochran Statement on New Continuing Resolution, Supplemental

Press Release: Statement of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Supporting The Continuing Resolution

Legislative Movement in Congress

H.R.4667 — Making further supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2018, for disaster assistance for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and calendar year 2017 wildfires, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Frelinghuysen, Rodney P. [R-NJ-11] (Introduced 12/18/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Appropriations, Budget
Latest Action:  Senate – 01/04/2018 Read the second time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 291.

H.R.4736 — To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow section 529 education accounts to be used for homeschooling expenses.
Sponsor: Rep. Smith, Jason [R-MO-8] (Introduced 01/03/2018) Cosponsors: (2)
Committees: House – Ways and Means
Latest Action:  House – 01/03/2018 Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices

ED Grant Notice: Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study (FWS), and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) programs. The deadline dates for each program are specified in the chart in the Deadline Dates section of the notice.