Washington Wrap Up – February 23, 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 23, 2021

The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved its reconciliation bill, in response to the instructions included in the Budget Resolution passed this month, on a 31-24 vote. The bill includes $7.6 billion in funding to provide Wi-Fi-connected devices and internet service for students, teachers and library patrons through eligible schools and libraries.

The House Budget Committee announced it plans to mark up the American Rescue Plan (legislative text consisting of each House Committee’s reconciliation legislation) today, Monday, February 22.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) produced the official score depicting the impact on the Federal budget of the House Education and Labor Committee-passed budget reconciliation measure.

President Biden issued an executive order to revoke Executive Order 13801 (Expanding Apprenticeships in America). In addition to this order, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced several actions regarding the Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program (IRAP), including allowing currently recognized IRAPs to continue and the relaunch of DOL’s Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship.

President Biden endorsed House Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott’s (D-VA) National Apprenticeship Act (H.R.447).

The Biden Administration announced that James Kvaal will serve as the Under Secretary of Education at the U.S. Department of Education (ED).

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]

Jill Biden picks up where she left off [The Hill]

FACT CHECK: Biden’s Comments On Loan Forgiveness And Elite Colleges [NPR]

Kvaal gets higher education position in Education Department [Inside Higher Ed]

Interest Surges in Top Colleges, While Struggling Ones Scrape for Applicants [The New York Times]

Biden pares back Trump apprenticeship program [Higher Ed Dive]

Colleges promise return to in-person classes for fall [Inside Higher Ed]

As admissions season descends, warning signs appear for low-income applicants [The Washington Post]

A College Program for Disadvantaged Teens Could Shake Up Elite Admissions [The New York Times]

Nonprofit taps 7 rural colleges to improve student success [Higher Ed Dive]

Promising Practices: How a CTE school overturned schedules for student choice [K-12 Dive]

Biden rejects plan for $50,000 in loan forgiveness [Inside Higher Ed]

Ocasio-Cortez: ‘The case against student loan forgiveness is looking shakier by the day’ [The Hill]

Op-Ed: Putting student loan forgiveness in perspective: How costly is it and who benefits? [Brookings]

U of Minnesota System makes tuition free for low-income students [Higher Ed Dive]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
Speaker of the House
Blog: New York Times: Republicans Struggle to Attack Survival Checks, Economic Relief for Struggling Families

Senate Majority Leader
Press Release: Schumer, Warren Joint Statement On Student Debt Cancellation

Senate Minority Leader
Press Release: ICYMI: Leader McConnell in The Wall Street Journal: “Acquittal Vindicated the Constitution, Not Trump”

House Education and Labor Committee
Press Release: Biden Ends Employer-led Apprenticeships, Kills Jobs

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
February 23: Full Committee Hearing: “Nomination of Xavier Becerra to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services”
Witness: The Honorable Xavier Becerra
10:00 a.m. in 430 Dirksen Senate Office Building or webcast

House Committee on the Budget 
February 22: Full Committee Markup: “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021” (Virtual Markup)
1:00 p.m. via Webex

House Appropriations Committee
Documents and webcast of Friday’s Subcommittee Hearing: “COVID-19 and the Child Care Crisis”

House Committee on Science, Space and Technology
February 25: Full Committee Hearing: “Building Back the U.S. Research Enterprise: COVID Impacts and Recovery Building Back the U.S. Research Enterprise: COVID Impacts and Recovery”
Witnesses: Dr. Sudip Parikh, Chief Executive Officer, American Association for the Advancement of Science; Dr. Christopher Keane, Vice President for Research, Washington State University; Dr. Felice J. Levine, Executive Director, American Educational Research Association; Mr. Thomas Quaadman, Executive Vice President, Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
10:00 a.m. via webcast

House Committee on Energy & Commerce
February 23: Subcommittee Hearing: “Pathway To Protection: Expanding Availability Of Covid-19 Vaccines”
Witnesses: John Young, Group President, Chief Business Officer, Pfizer; Dr. Stephen Hoge, President, Moderna; Dr. Richard Nettles, Vice President of Medical Affairs, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, Johnson & Johnson; Dr. Ruud Dobber, Executive Vice President and President, BioPharmaceuticals Business Unit, AstraZeneca; John Trizzino, Executive Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer, and Chief Business Officer, Novavax, Inc.
10:30 a.m. via WebEx

Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis
Documents and webcast of Friday’s Subcommittee Hearing: “Ensuring Equity In Coronavirus Vaccinations”

Online Events:
February 25: Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) event—”Adult Education: A Catalyst for American Recovery and Growth”
Today, 51.4 million adults in the United States lack basic literacy skills and 75.1 million Americans are low-skilled in numeracy. Adult education programs around the country serve these adults by providing numeracy, literacy, English language skills, digital literacy, work readiness, high school equivalency and more – all essential services, especially during an economic downturn.
Please join for a briefing to learn first-hand how our nation’s adult education programs have pivoted to serve the most vulnerable students during the pandemic. During the briefing, you will hear from adult educators in the field and a current and former adult education student. Panelists will share successes and challenges with providing distance teaching/learning and upgrading their digital infrastructure in response to COVID social distancing practices. As we look ahead, adult education will be an integral piece of the recovery and growth puzzle. This briefing is your opportunity to get an inside look into adult education and we hope to see you there!
Speakers: Sharon Bonney (Moderator), CEO of the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE), New York; Oogie Lamar, Adult Education Administrator, Michigan; Shakita Boyd, Adult Learner, Connecticut; Dr. Meghan McBride, Former Adult Learner and Current Vice President for Adult Education at Georgia Piedmont Technical College, Georgia; Dr. Don Finn, Adult Educator and Associate Professor of Education at the Regent University School of Education, Virginia
2:00 p.m. Eastern
Register here.

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
White House Press Release: Fact Sheet: Biden Administration to Take Steps to Bolster Registered Apprenticeships

White House Press Release: Fact Sheet: President Biden Announces New Actions to Expand and Improve COVID-19 Testing

DOL Press Release: US Department Of Labor Undertakes Several Actions To Strengthen Registered Apprenticeship Program, Eliminate Duplication

NCES Blog: Distance Education in College: What Do We Know From IPEDS?

IES Report: “Alternative career readiness measures for small and rural districts in Texas”

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:
H.R.5 – To prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Cicilline, David N. [D-RI-1]
Committee: House – Judiciary; Education and Labor; Financial Services; Oversight and Reform; House Administration
Latest Action: House – 02/18/2021 Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committees on Education and Labor, Financial Services, Oversight and Reform, and House Administration, 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 concerned.
Press Release: Cicilline, Merkley Announce Introduction of Equality Act

H.R.1091 – To create a task force within the Department of Education to address the threat of foreign government influence and threats to academic research integrity on college campuses, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Banks, Jim [R-IN-3]
Committees: House – Education and Labor; Intelligence (Permanent Select); Armed Services; Science, Space, and Technology
Latest Action: House – 02/18/2021 Referred to the Committee on Education and Labor, and in addition to the Committees on Intelligence (Permanent Select), Armed Services, and Science, Space, and Technology, 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 concerned.
Press Release: Rep. Jim Banks Introduces 5 Bills to Counter Chinese Communist Party Aggression

H.R.1108 – To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to include child development and early learning as community services under the Federal work-study program.
Sponsor: Rep. Castro, Joaquin [D-TX-20]
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action: House – 02/18/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.
Press Release: Reps. Castro, Cole, Spanberger, and Moolenaar Reintroduce Bipartisan Bill to Include Early Childhood Education in Work-Study Programs.

H.R.1109 – To establish the Department of State Student Internship Program as a paid internship program to provide students with the opportunity to learn about a career in diplomacy and foreign affairs, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Castro, Joaquin [D-TX-20]
Committees: House – Foreign Affairs
Latest Action: House – 02/18/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Press Release: Castro Reintroduces Bipartisan Bill to Pay State Department Interns.

H.R.1133 – To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to include certain employment as a health care practitioner as eligible for public service loan forgiveness, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Harder, Josh [D-CA-10]
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action: House – 02/18/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.

H.R.1150 – To codify the Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs of the Department of Labor.
Sponsor: Rep. Luetkemeyer, Blaine [R-MO-3]
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action: House – 02/18/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.
Press Release: Luetkemeyer Introduces the Modernizing America’s Apprenticeships Act

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
ED Grant Notice: National Professional Development (NPD) program. Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: March 15, 2021. Applications due on April 23, 2021.

ED Grant Notice; Correction: Disability Innovation Fund-Career Advancement Initiative Model Demonstration Project. The notice corrects the date that applications were made available to January 8, 2021, the deadline for transmittal of applications to April 8, 2021, and the deadline for intergovernmental review to June 7, 2021. All other information in the NIA remains the same.

NSF Meeting: Sunshine Act Meetings. These meetings will be held by videoconference. There will be no in-person meetings. The meetings will be on Tuesday, February 23 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. and Wednesday, February 24 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:40 p.m. Eastern. If interested, these meetings will be streamed to the NSB Youtube Channel.

DOL Comment Request: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Common Performance Reporting. Comments due on or before March 19, 2020.