Washington Wrap Up – February 4, 2020

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


February 4, 2020

The House passed the Never Again Education Act (H.R.943) by a 393 to 5 vote. The bill would authorize $2 million in funding to help the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum expand programming and provide materials to teachers for educating students about the Holocaust.

The House passed the Student Borrower Credit Improvement Act (H.R.3621) by a 221 to 189 vote. The bill would prohibit a consumer reporting agency from furnishing a consumer report containing any adverse item of information relating to a delinquent or defaulted private education loan of a borrower who has a specified demonstrated history of loan repayment.

Politico reported that House Democratic leadership is considering bringing back the practice of earmarks to the appropriations process. The current proposal being debated would allow appropriators to designate funds for certain projects out of a limited set of funding streams.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said that the Administration’s upcoming final Title IX rule is intended to be corrective of the Obama-era Title IX guidance by continuing to “combat sexual misconduct without abandoning due process.” Secretary DeVos did not announce a timeframe for the final rule to be published.

ED announced that Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas and Vermont were approved to participate in the Education Flexibility Program (Ed-Flex) authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

ED held a meeting with accrediting organizations and State higher education executive officers to discuss how to better prepare for and prevent sudden school closures.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a new policy for how it intends to enforce abusive actions in connection with the provision of consumer financial products or services as required under the Dodd-Frank Act.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Administration can begin implementing its Public Charge rule on a 5 to 4 vote while court challenges to the rule proceed.

The President is scheduled to give the State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, February 4.

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]
How Education Has Fared in Election-Year State of the Union Speeches [Education Week]

House Democrat Threatens to Subpoena DeVos [Inside Higher Ed]

Request to Analyze Dual Enrollment [Inside Higher Ed]

More student loan forgiveness sought for disabled borrowers [Inside Higher Ed]

University of California should continue to use SAT and ACT in college admissions, key faculty committee recommends [EdSource]

Merger With Christian University Stokes Uproar Over Faith and Free Expression [The New York Times]

Who Could Be the Next Secretary of Education After the 2020 Election? [Education Week]

Partnership to Help Pell Students [Inside Higher Ed]

Bipartisan group calls for more financial aid spending [Inside Higher Ed]

Report: California Ahead on Dual Enrollment [Inside Higher Ed]
Wheelhouse: The Center For Community College Leadership And Research Report: “A Leg Up on College: The Scale and Distribution of Community College Participation Among California High School Students”

Certificates and Associate Degrees Can Outearn Bachelor’s [Inside Higher Ed]

Trustees growing increasingly worried about the future of higher education in the U.S., polling shows [Inside Higher Ed]

Fears of coronavirus infection have university officials responding quickly [The Washington Post]

STUDENT VOICES: Transfer schools offer a second chance to graduate high school [The Hechinger Report]

Study finds large share of parents struggle to repay federal PLUS loans [Inside Higher Ed]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
House Education and Labor Committee 
Press Release: Scott, Trahan Seek Explanation for Education Department’s Scheme to Deny Full Debt Relief for Thousands of Defrauded Borrowers

House Committee on Science, Space and Technology
February 5: Subcommittee Hearing: “America’s Seed Fund: A Review of SBIR and STTR.”
Witnesses: Dr. Dawn Tilbury, Assistant Director, Directorate of Engineering, National Science Foundation; Dr. Maryann Feldman, S.K. Heninger Distinguished Professor of Public Policy, The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill; Mr. Nicholas Cucinelli, Chief Executive Officer, Endectra LLC; Dr. Johnny Park, Chief Executive Officer, Wabash Heartland Innovation Network
2:00 p.m. in 2318 Rayburn House Office Building or webcast

House Committee on Financial Services
Press Release: House Passes Pressley Bill to Reform Broken Credit Reporting System

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
White House Proclamation: Proclamation on Career and Technical Education Month, 2020

ED Press Release: U.S. Department of Education, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Better Serve Student Loan Borrowers

DOL Press Release: U.S. Department Of Labor Now Accepting 2020 Hire Vets Medallion Award Applications

IES Blog: Research-Practice Partnerships, Redux

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:
H.R.1075 — FAFSA Fairness Act of 2019
Sponsor: Rep. Cummings, Elijah E. [D-MD-7] (Introduced 02/07/2019) Cosponsors: (23)
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action:  House – 01/30/2020 ASSUMING FIRST SPONSORSHIP – Mr. Trone asked unanimous consent that he may hereafter be considered as the first sponsor of H.R. 1075, a bill originally introduced by Representative Elijah Cummings, for the purpose of adding cosponsors and requesting reprintings…

H.R.3621 — Student Borrower Credit Improvement Act
Sponsor: Rep. Pressley, Ayanna [D-MA-7] (Introduced 07/05/2019) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House – Financial Services Committee Reports: H. Rept. 116-331
Latest Action:  House – 01/29/2020 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
Press Release: Rep. Pressley Announces House Passage of Comprehensive CREDIT Act of 2020

H.R.5702 — To provide that for purposes of determining compliance with title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 in athletics, sex shall be determined on the basis of biological sex as determined at birth by a physician.
Sponsor: Rep. Steube, W. Gregory [R-FL-17] (Introduced 01/29/2020) Cosponsors: (7)
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action:  House – 01/29/2020 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.

H.Res.811 — Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 3621) to amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to remove adverse information for certain defaulted or delinquent private education loan borrowers who demonstrate a history of loan repayment, and for other purposes, and providing for consideration of the Senate amendment to the bill (H.R. 550) to award a Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, to the United States Merchant Mariners of World War II, in recognition of their dedicated and vital service during World War II.
Sponsor: Rep. Raskin, Jamie [D-MD-8] (Introduced 01/27/2020) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Rules Committee Reports: H. Rept. 116-383
Latest Action:  House – 01/28/2020 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.

S.3243 — A bill to increase students’ and borrowers’ access to student loan information within the National Student Loan Data System.
Sponsor: Sen. Shaheen, Jeanne [D-NH] (Introduced 01/28/2020) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Action:  Senate – 01/28/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

S.3245 — A bill to advance STEM education, provide for improved worker training, retention, and advancement, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Cortez Masto, Catherine [D-NV] (Introduced 01/28/2020) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Action:  Senate – 01/28/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
Press Release: Cortez Masto, Jones Introduce Bill To Promote Stem Education, Apprenticeships & Training

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
ED Grant Notice; Extension: FY 2020 Student Support Services (SSS) Program competition. Applications due February 18, 2020 for eligible institutions of higher education (IHEs) or combinations of IHEs in the designated counties of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico affected by the recent earthquakes, for which the President has issued a disaster declaration. 

ED Comment Request: Student Assistance General Provision—Subpart E—Verification Student Aid Application Information. Comments due on or before March 2, 2020. 

ED Comment Request: Application and Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Comments due on or before March 30, 2020. 

DOL Comment Request: Labor Standards for the Registration of Apprenticeship Program. Comments due on or before March 2, 2020.

Today’s Federal Register