Washington Wrap Up – September 8, 2020

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

September 8, 2020

COVID-19 Updates 
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) directed Federal Student Aid (FSA) to continue the suspension of interest, payments and involuntary collections on Federal student loans as has taken place under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L.116-136) through the end of the year.

Federal judges in California and Washington State issued injunctions blocking ED from enforcing its equitable services provision related to the Education Stabilization Fund’s portion of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L.116-136).

ED issued a final rule this week pertaining to distance learning and competency-based education. The rule is effective July 1, 2021, but ED is allowing IHEs and accreditors to implement its provisions earlier.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued guidance reflecting new procedures for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program initially announced in July

The U.S. Institute of Education Sciences (IES) released a report on persistence and attainment at post-secondary institutions.

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]
Schools May Get Sued Over COVID-19. 7 Things to Know About Managing That Risk [Education Week]

Health Experts Warn Colleges Not to Send Students Home. But What if Quarantine Spaces Run Out?[The Chronicle of Higher Education]

A New Front in America’s Pandemic: College Towns [The New York Times]

Admissions research suggests ambiguous results will result from some tactics at top colleges [Inside Higher Ed]

Is robust coronavirus testing enough to prevent college outbreaks? [Education Dive]

Op-Ed: Campus safety is more than dealing with COVID-19 [The Hill]

State politics influenced college reopening plans, data show [Inside Higher Ed]

Universities can’t use privacy laws to withhold data on coronavirus outbreaks, experts say [The Washington Post]

UC must immediately drop use of the SAT and ACT for admissions and scholarships, judge rules [Los Angeles Times]

Colleges furlough more employees [Inside Higher Ed]

As pandemic continues, colleges help unemployed workers find new jobs [Education Dive]

Op-Ed: The politicization of American universities [The Hill]

Summer enrollments declined sharply among Black undergraduates and at community colleges [Inside Higher Ed]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
Speaker of the House
Press Release: Remarks at Press Event on Day of Action For The Children

Senate Majority Leader
Press Release: McConnell Announces Senate Will Vote on Targeted COVID-19 Relief

House Education and Labor Committee 
September 10: Subcommittee Hearing: “On the Basis of Sex: Examining the Administration’s Attacks on Gender-Based Protections”
Witnesses: to be announced
12:30 p.m. via WebEx

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions  
September 15: Full Committee Hearing: “Compensating College Athletes: Examining The Potential Impact On Athletes And Institutions”
Witnesses: to be announced
10:00 a.m. in 430 Dirksen Senate Office Building or webcast

House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
September 9: Subcommittee Hearing: “The Impact Of The Covid-19 Crisis On University Research”
Witnesses: Dr. Joseph Walsh, Interim Vice President for Economic Development and Innovation, University of Illinois System; Dr. David Stone, Vice President for Research, Oakland University; Dr. Theresa Mayer, Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships, Purdue University; Mr. Ryan Muzzio, Physics Ph.D. Student, Carnegie Mellon University
11:00 a.m. online via videoconferencing

House Committee on Financial Services
September 10: Full Committee Hearing: “The Need for Financial Aid to America’s States and Territories During the Pandemic: Supporting First Responders, Assisting Schools in Their Efforts to Safely Educate, and Preventing Mass Layoffs”
Witnesses: to be announced
12:00 p.m. via Cisco Webex

House Committee on Natural Resources
September 10: Subcommittee Hearing: “Examining the Bureau of Indian Education’s School Reopening Guidance During the COVID-19 Pandemic”
Witnesses: to be announced
2:00 p.m. via Webex

House Committee on the Budget
September 10: Full Committee Hearing: “Machines, Artificial Intelligence, & the Workforce: Recovering & Readying Our Economy for the Future”
Witnesses: Susan Athey, Ph.D., Economics of Technology Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Business; and Associate Director, Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI); Daron Acemoglu, Ph.D., Institute Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Darrell West, Ph.D., Vice President and Director of Governance Studies, Brookings Institution; Jason Matheny, Ph.D., Founding Director, Center for Security and Emerging Technology at Georgetown University; and Commissioner, National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence
1:00 p.m. via Webex

Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis
Press Release: At Hearing, Secretary Mnuchin Concedes Unemployed Americans Urgently Nee

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
White House Press Release: Readout from the Vice President’s Briefing with Higher Education Leaders and State and Local Officials on Campus COVID-19 Considerations

DOL Press Release: ICYMI: U.S. Department Of Labor Acts To Help American Workers And Employers During The Coronavirus Pandemic

VA Notice: Nominations for Appointment to the Advisory Committee on Veterans’ Employment, Training, and Employer Outreach (ACVETEO). The term of membership for the appointed member will run through January 31, 2022. Nominations for membership on the Committee must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on October 30, 2020. 

GAO Report: “COVID-19: Brief Update on Initial Federal Response to the Pandemic”

IES Report: “Adult Numeracy in the United States”

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:
H.R.8164 — To establish a Higher Education Initiative in the Office of Private Sector of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Barr, Andy [R-KY-6] (Introduced 09/04/2020) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Judiciary
Latest Action:  House – 09/04/2020 Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

H.R.8141 — To amend the Public Health Service Act to reduce health inequities experienced by individuals who are members of historically racial and ethnic minority groups under State plans under the community mental health services block grant program, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Cardenas, Tony [D-CA-29] (Introduced 09/01/2020) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House – Energy and Commerce
Latest Action:  House – 09/01/2020 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Press Release: Cárdenas, Johnson to Introduce Strengthening Mental Health Supports for BIPOC Communities Act

H.R.8150 — To direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct a study with respect to safety precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Mucarsel-Powell, Debbie [D-FL-26] (Introduced 09/01/2020) Cosponsors: (11)
Committees: House – Energy and Commerce; Education and Labor
Latest Action:  House – 09/01/2020 Referred to the Committee on Education and Labor, and in addition to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee…
Press Release: As South Florida Schools Consider In-Person Classes, Mucarsel-Powell Introduces NEW Bill Outlining Guidance, Funding & Resources In Order To Safely Reopen School

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
ED Grant Notice; Reopening: Applications for Funding under Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), Sections 18004(a)(1), 18004(a)(2), and 18004(a)(3). Applications are due on September 30, 2020.

ED Notice: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) Information To Be Verified for the 2021-2022 Award Year

ED Comment Request: 2020/22 Beginning Postsecondary Students (BPS:20/22) Field Test. Comments are due on or before November 2, 2020. 

ED Comment Request: High School and Beyond 2021 (HS&B:21) Base-Year Full-Scale Study Data Collection. Comments are due on or before October 2, 2020.

ED Meeting Notice: President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The meeting will be held via webinar on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 from 9 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. E.D.T.

ED Comment Request: Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) Final Performance Report. Comments are due on or before November 1, 2020.