Washington Wrap Up – January 14, 2020

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


January 14, 2020

Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) was sworn into office, replacing retired Senator Johnny Isakson. Senator Loeffler will also take over Senator Isakson’s seat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) announced that he will retire after his current term, which ends this year. Rep. Roe is a long-time member of the House Education and Labor Committee, including formerly serving as Chair of the Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittee.

The House is scheduled to consider H.J.Res.76 this week. This Congressional Review Act resolution would nullify the Administration’s recently finalized Borrower Defense to Repayment (BDR) rule, leaving the Obama-era BDR rule in place.

The Senate confirmed Crosby Kemper III to be the Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim is considering a request from former Corinthian Colleges students to increase the $100,000 fine she levied against the U.S. Department of Education (ED) for violating a court order to cease collecting on former Corinthian students’ loans.

ED’s Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) released a new report finding that the Federal government’s outstanding student loan portfolio is currently $1.51 trillion.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed suit against the mortgage lender Monster Loans and several companies that offer student loan debt relief, alleging that the companies deceived consumers, illegally obtained consumer credit reports and collected more than $15 million in illegal advance fees from thousands of consumers.

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]
Early decision starts to hit its limits [Inside Higher Ed]

MLA discusses professors’ ethical responsibilities for training graduate students  [Inside Higher Ed]

‘Techlash’ Hits College Campuses [The New York Times]

Newsom proposes funding boost for colleges and universities but education leaders wanted more [EdSource]

What to Expect When Paying for College in 2020 [U.S. News]

OPINION: The need for more black school counselors and four ways to get better information about HBCUs [The Hechinger Report]

Bloomberg Pledges Funding for Community Colleges [Inside Higher Ed]

DeVos and Education Dept. could face new sanctions for violating a court order [The Washington Post]

EdX introduces MicroBachelors programs, a first step toward online bachelor’s [Inside Higher Ed]

Should There Be a Federal Right to Education? [Education Week]

Virginia’s plan to cover tuition and basic needs for community college students [Inside Higher Ed]

Poll on Higher Education’s Affordability and Accessibility [Inside Higher Ed]

Op-Ed: Proposed changes to Title IX will not solve the problem of sexual assaults on college campuses [The Hill]

Conference speakers stress value of liberal arts skills to small college presidents [Inside Higher Ed]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions  
Press Release: Chairman Alexander Welcomes Sen. Kelly Loeffler to HELP Committee

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
White House Press Release: Twenty-one Nominations Sent to the Senate

DOL Press Release: U.S. Department Of Labor Launches Yearlong Celebration Of Americans With Disabilities Act’s 30th Anniversary

IES Press Release: A New Year’s Update from the Director of IES

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:
H.R.5561 — To amend the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to require one-stop delivery systems under such Act to offer services through internet websites and to direct the Secretary of Labor to develop standards and best practices for such websites, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Swalwell, Eric [D-CA-15] (Introduced 01/08/2020) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action:  House – 01/08/2020 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.
Press Release: Swalwell and Stefanik Re-Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Modernize Online Job-Searching Services

S.3155 — A bill to establish a rural postsecondary and economic development grant program.
Sponsor: Sen. Collins, Susan M. [R-ME] (Introduced 01/08/2020) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Action:  Senate – 01/08/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. (Sponsor introductory remarks on measure: CR S95-96)
Press Release: Bill to Help Rural Students and Communities Succeed Introduced by Collins, Hassan

S.3158 — A bill to remove college cost as a barrier to every student having access to a well-prepared and diverse educator workforce, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Booker, Cory A. [D-NJ] (Introduced 01/08/2020) Cosponsors: (8)
Committees: Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Action:  Senate – 01/08/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

S.3168 — A bill to establish competitive Federal grants that will empower community colleges and minority-serving institutions to become incubators for infant and toddler child care talent, training, and access on their campuses and in their communities.
Sponsor: Sen. Booker, Cory A. [D-NJ] (Introduced 01/08/2020) Cosponsors: (4)
Committees: Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Action:  Senate – 01/08/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

S.3151 — A bill to amend the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 to allow counties to use certain funds to provide or expand access to broadband telecommunications services and other technologies.
Sponsor: Sen. Cortez Masto, Catherine [D-NV] (Introduced 01/07/2020) Cosponsors: (3)
Committees: Senate – Energy and Natural Resources
Latest Action:  Senate – 01/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
Press Release: Cortez Masto, Romney, Boozman, Manchin Introduce Legislation To Improve Broadband Access For Rural Students

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
ED Comment Request: Targeted Teacher Shortage Areas Data Collection. Comments due on or before February 12, 2020.

ED Notice; Correction: Eligibility Designations and Applications for Waiving Eligibility Requirements; Programs Under Parts A and F of Title III and Programs Under Title V of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as Amended (HEA). This notice revises (a) the Deadline for Transmittal of Applications and (b) information provided in Section I of the notice. All other requirements and conditions in the notice remain the same.

ED Comment Request: Migrant Education Program Regulations and Certificate of Eligibility. Comments due on or before March 9, 2020.