Washington Wrap Up – February 9, 2021

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

February 9, 2021

The House and Senate passed a Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 budget resolution, which provided reconciliation instructions for Committees to produce legislation to enact budget proposals.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a confirmation hearing for Commissioner Miguel Cardona, the nominee to serve as U.S. Secretary of Education and a confirmation hearing for Mayor Marty Walsh, the nominee to serve as U.S. Secretary of Labor. HELP Committee votes on both nominees are scheduled for February 11.

The Senate approved an organizing resolution which finalized how committees will operate under the 50-50 split in the Senate, as well as certain procedures for consideration of bills on the Senate floor.

The House Education and Labor Committee is scheduled to have its organizing meeting for the 117th Congress on February 8.

The House passed the National Apprenticeship Act by a vote of 247 to 173.

In the final days of the Trump Administration, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) issued a determination after many years of deliberation that Navient, a student loan company that participated in the Federal Family Education Loan program (FFEL), improperly sought interest on certain Federal student loans.

The Biden Administration dropped a lawsuit against Yale University that had been filed during the Trump Administration over how heavily the University considers race in its admissions practices.

ED announced additional appointees to the agency.

The Institute of Education Sciences announced a national survey to collect national data on school reopening and students’ learning statuses.


The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case on student athlete compensation limits, Alston v. NCAA, during its March 2021 session.

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]
Watch: Key Takeaways from Miguel Cardona’s Confirmation Hearing for Education Secretary [Education Week]

Biden’s Higher Ed Team Takes Shape [Inside Higher Ed]

White House signals willingness to consider executive action on student debt cancellation [The Washington Post]

Sociopolitical factors stronger influence than pandemic severity in some college reopening decisions, study says [Inside Higher Ed]

AP tests will be offered at home or in school as virus crisis persists, but this time exams will be of normal length [The Washington Post]

California governor proposes dual-admissions pathway for community college students [Higher Ed Dive]

Applications fall for early decision and early action [Inside Higher Ed]

To protect taxpayer dollars, the Education Dept. is disproportionately auditing Black and Latino college students [The Washington Post]

Demand for Graduate School Rises Even as Greater Competition Looms [Inside Higher Ed]

Justice Dept. drops suit accusing Yale of bias against Asian and White applicants [The Washington Post]

Colleges Add More In-Person Classes For Spring, Amid High Risk Of Coronavirus Spread [NPR]

More hate crimes led to increased Black student enrollment at HBCUs [Inside Higher Ed]

More colleges are partnering with boot camps to tap demand for short-term programs [Higher Ed Dive]

Apprenticeships have been hotbeds of harassment and discrimination [The Hechinger Report]

LePage: Rolling Back DeVos’s Title IX Guidance on Sexual Harassment Won’t Be Easy. But It’s the Right Thing to Do to Protect the Victims [The74million.org]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
House Floor Activity
Friday’s passage of H.R. 447, The  “National Apprenticeship Act” by of a vote of 247-173.

Speaker of the House
Press Release: Floor Speech on Senate-Passed Budget Resolution, A Key Step in Enacting the Urgently-Needed Biden COVID Relief Package

Senate Majority Leader
Press Release: Majority Leader Schumer Announces Senate Democratic Committee Memberships For The 117th Congress

Senate Minority Leader
Press Release: “No More Goalpost-Moving”: Time to Get America’s Kids Back In School

House Education and Labor Committee
February 8: Business Meeting: Organizational Meeting
4:00 p.m. via Webex

February 9: Full Committee Markup: Committee Print to comply with reconciliation directives included in section 2001 (b) of the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2021, S.Con.Res. 5.
3:00 p.m. Eastern

Press Release: Scott Praises Passage Of The National Apprenticeship Act Of 2021

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
February 11: Executive Session: Nominations of Miguel A. Cardona, of Connecticut, to be Secretary of Education, and Martin Joseph Walsh, of Massachusetts, to be Secretary of Labor
10:00 a.m. in 430 Dirksen Senate Office Building or webcast

House Appropriations Committee
Press Release: DeLauro Announces Appropriations Subcommittee Vice Chairs

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
White House Speech: Remarks by President Biden on the State of the Economy and the Need for the American Rescue Plan

ED Press Release: Department of Education Announces More Biden-Harris Appointees

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:
H.R.447 — National Apprenticeship Act of 2021
Sponsor: Rep. Scott, Robert C. “Bobby” [D-VA-3] (Introduced 01/25/2021) Cosponsors: (91)
Committees: House – Education and Labor; Judiciary
Latest Action:  House – 02/05/2021 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
Press Release: Scott Praises Passage Of The National Apprenticeship Act Of 2021

H.R.585 — To direct the Secretary of Labor to provide for data collection and dissemination of information regarding programs under the national apprenticeship system, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Pappas, Chris [D-NH-1] (Introduced 01/28/2021) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action:  02/05/2021 Sponsor introductory remarks on measure.
Press Release: House Passes National Apprenticeship Act Containing Key Pappas Provision

H.R.865 — To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to improve the H-1B visa program, to repeal the diversity visa lottery program, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Brooks, Mo [R-AL-5] (Introduced 02/05/2021) Cosponsors: (2)
Committees: House – Judiciary; Education and Labor
Latest Action:  House – 02/05/2021 Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Education and Labor, 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: Congressman Mo Brooks Introduces Trio Of Major Immigration Bills

H.Amdt.9 — Description: An amendment numbered 22 printed in Part B of House Report 117-3 to provide authority for additional programs of work-based learning, strikes the establishment of the National Advisory Committee and interagency agreement, and provides additional flexibility for the state plan process. Amends Bill: H.R.447
Sponsor: Rep. Stefanik, Elise M. [R-NY-21] (Offered 02/05/2021)
Latest Action: 02/05/21 On agreeing to the Stefanik amendment (A006) Failed by the Yeas and Nays: 175 – 245
Press Release: Stefanik Speaks On House Floor, Offers Amendment To Improve National Apprenticeship Act

H.R.683 — To promote diversity in the national apprenticeship system.
Sponsor: Rep. Adams, Alma S. [D-NC-12] (Introduced 02/02/2021) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action:  House – 02/02/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.
Press Release: Reps. Adams, Jones Introduce Apprenticeship Access for All Act of 2021

H.R.691 — To expand opportunities for pre-apprenticeships programs.
Sponsor: Rep. Cardenas, Tony [D-CA-29] (Introduced 02/02/2021) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action:  House – 02/02/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.
Press Release: Cárdenas, Doggett Introduce Expanding Opportunity through Pre-Apprenticeships Act

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
Executive Office of the President Proclamation: National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, 2021

ED Comment Request: Pell Grant Reporting under the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System. Comments due on or before April 6, 2021.

DOL Comment Request: Apprenticeship Evidence-Building Portfolio. The portfolio of initiatives includes the Scaling Apprenticeship Through Sector-Based Strategies grants, Closing the Skills Gap grants, Youth Apprenticeship Readiness grants, and other DOL investments. Comments due on or before April 5, 2021.