Washington Wrap Up – January, 26, 2021

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

January 26, 2021

Senators Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Jon Ossoff (D-GA) and Alex Padilla (D-CA) were sworn into the Senate on Wednesday providing Democrats, due to the swearing in of Vice President Harris, to be recognized as of the majority party in the Senate.

The Trump Administration’s 1776 Commission released a report summarizing its findings. President Biden subsequently issued an Executive Order to rescind President Trump’s 1776 Commission.

President Joe Biden was sworn into office Wednesday as the 46th President of the United States.

President Biden issued a directive to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to continue the period of no interest, no payments and no collections for Federal student loans through September of this year.

President Biden signed an Executive Order on racial equity that also rescinded the Trump Administration’s “Combatting Race and Sex Stereotyping” Executive Order.

President Biden issued a memorandum stating his support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and an Executive Order rescinding the travel ban President Trump had placed on certain Muslim-majority countries.

President Biden issued an Executive Order to implement the June 2020 U.S. Supreme Court decision which established that protections against employment discrimination based on sex, as prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, apply to issues of discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

President Biden signed an Executive Order on Federal food benefits that will increase Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Pandemic EBT benefits.

President Biden nominated Cindy Marten, current Superintendent of San Diego Unified School District, to be U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education.

President Biden issued a national strategy to deal with COVID-19, which involves steps to reopen K-12 schools and institutions of higher education (IHEs) to in-person learning.

ED announced a group of political appointees for several offices at the agency.

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]
Suzi LeVine, head of Washington state’s embattled unemployment agency, to take job in Biden administration [The Seattle Times]

Biden’s free college plan would increase enrollment at public colleges but hurt privates [Inside Higher Ed]

Universities face pressure to vet ex-Trump officials before hiring them [The Washington Post]

How UC San Diego has avoided Covid-19 outbreaks while housing thousands of students [EdSource]

Early Education Department Appointees Have Links to Jill Biden, Teachers’ Unions [Education Week]

Biden orders more guidance on college reopening decisions [Inside Higher Ed]

Biden’s sex discrimination order likely a precursor to Title IX changes [Education Dive]

Colleges head into the spring with varying coronavirus testing strategies [Education Dive]

President Biden Will Extend Student Loan Payment Freeze Through Sept. 30 [NPR]

Biden’s administration brings hopes going to college will become affordable for youth [Inside Higher Ed]

Community colleges dropped test scores for class placements amid pandemic: report [Education Dive]

How Biden’s immigration plan would affect colleges [Education Dive]

‘It’s just too much’: Why some students are abandoning community colleges [PBS News Hour]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
Speaker of the House
Press Release: Pelosi Announces House Will Deliver Article of Impeachment to Senate on January 25

Senate Majority Leader
Press Release: Leader Schumer Statement On Biden-Harris Administration’s Day One Executive Orders And Legislative Initiatives

Senate Minority Leader
Press Release: “The American People Chose an Evenly-Split Senate”

House Education and Labor Committee
Press Release: Chairman Scott Statement on President Biden’s Announcement of National Strategy to Fight the Pandemic, Protect Workers from COVID-19

House Committee on Appropriations
Press Release: DeLauro, Quigley, and Yarmuth Write to Tanden on Key Budget Initiatives

House Committee on Energy & Commerce
Press Release: Energy & Commerce Committee To Hold Committee Organizational Meeting On Thursday

Committee on Science, Space and Technology
Press Release: Chairwoman Johnson Applauds President Biden’s First Day Of Action

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
White House Presidential Action: Executive Order on Ensuring an Equitable Pandemic Response and Recovery

White House Presidential Action: Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation

White House Presidential Action: Executive Order on the Revision of Civil Immigration Enforcement Policies and Priorities

White House Presidential Action: Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government

White House Speech: Inaugural Address by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

ED Press Release: At the Request of President Biden, Acting Secretary of Education Will Extend Pause on Federal Student Loan Payments

GAO Report: “HIGHER EDUCATION: Department of Education Should Further Assess College Access Grant Programs

IES Report: “How Nebraska Teachers Use and Perceive Summative, Interim, and Formative Data”

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:
H.R.387 — To prevent doses of vaccines for COVID-19 from being wasted, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Budd, Ted [R-NC-13] (Introduced 01/21/2021)
Committees: House – Energy and Commerce
Latest Action: House – 01/21/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Press Release: Reps. Budd & Garcia Introduce Bill to Stop Vaccine Waste

H.R.394 — To expand loan relief to all Federal student loan borrowers, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Courtney, Joe [D-CT-2] (Introduced 01/21/2021)
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action: House – 01/21/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.

H.R.426 — To provide that for purposes of determining compliance with title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 in athletics, sex shall be recognized based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.
Sponsor: Rep. Steube, W. Gregory [R-FL-17] (Introduced 01/21/2021)
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action: House – 01/21/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.
Press Release: Steube Reintroduces Bill to Protect Women and Girls in Competitive Sports

H.R.359 — To amend title 38, United States Code, to allow individuals who are entitled to Post-9/11 educational assistance to use such assistance to repay Federal student loans.
Sponsor: Rep. Steube, W. Gregory [R-FL-17] (Introduced 01/19/2021) Cosponsors: (2)
Committees: House – Veterans’ Affairs
Latest Action:  House – 01/19/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
Executive Office of the President Presidential Document: Preserving and Fortifying Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

ED Comment Request: Work Colleges Application and Agreement. Comments due on or before February 22, 2021.