Washington Wrap Up – March 2, 2021

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

March 2, 2021

The House Budget Committee approved a reconciliation package consisting of the bills reported by Committees receiving reconciliation instructions to the full House, including the House Education and Labor legislation. The House is scheduled to debate this measure later today.

The Senate voted 66-32 to invoke cloture on the nomination of Miguel Cardona to serve as U.S. Secretary of Education. The Senate took a final vote on the Cardona nomination yesterday, Monday, March 1 at 5:30 p.m., confirming him on a 64-33 vote.

The House voted 224-206 to pass the Equality Act, which would forbid discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in public education and other areas.

The Government Accountability Office issued a report on “Low-Income Workers: Millions Of Full-Time Workers In The Private Sector Rely On Federal Health Care And Food Assistance Programs.”

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) released guidance regarding flexibility in administering Statewide assessments for the 2020-2021 school year.

The Biden Administration formally nominated James Kvaal to be Under Secretary at ED.

ED announced other officials that were named to positions at the agency.

The Biden Administration Department of Justice withdrew the Administration’s support for an Idaho law that prevents female transgender athletes from participating on sports teams that match their gender identity.

The FCC finalized rules for the Emergency Broadband Benefit program and announced the Commission’s intent to begin operating the program in the next 60 days.

A Federal Judge ruled that ED must turn over emails from former U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos regarding the Department’s delay in resolving thousands of borrower defense to repayment (BDR) claims.

The Biden Administration announced changes to small business lending and the Paycheck Protection Program to “further promote equitable access to relief.”

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]
Senate confirms Biden’s Education secretary [The Hill]

Tightening the 90-10 Rule [Inside Higher Ed]

Community colleges at a crossroads: Enrollment is plummeting, but political clout is growing [The Washington Post]

Not Submitting Scores [Inside Higher Ed]

House passes relief package that would send $40B to colleges [Higher Ed Dive]

The End of Deadlines? [Inside Higher Ed]

Colleges renew focus on appeals for more financial aid [Higher Ed Dive]

Pandemic Pressures [Inside Higher Ed]
Chegg Report: “Global Student Survey”

Not Just ‘A Place to Park Our Offspring’ [Inside Higher Ed]

Jill Biden Says She’s Pushing for Free Community College [Inside Higher Ed]

Tracking Coronavirus Cases at U.S. Colleges and Universities [The New York Times]

New Morehouse College Program Encourages Black Men To Complete Unfinished Degrees [NPR]

A Racial Trust Deficit in Higher Ed [Inside Higher Ed]
Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research Report: The Trust Gap Among College Students

Unions, policy groups push for more accountability from colleges and universities [Inside Higher Ed]

NLRB ruling potentially limits which adjuncts can form unions [Inside Higher Ed]

A College Admissions Rat Race [The New York Times]

Anti-affirmative action group adds Yale to list of universities it is suing [Higher Ed Dive]

More Bad News for Student Mental Health [Inside Higher Ed]
The Healthy Minds Study: Fall 2020 Data Report

Black students are succeeding in college at higher rates, but far behind white peers, report says [Los Angeles Times]

Some say debt forgiveness would lessen the racial wealth gap; others say it would make it worse [Inside Higher Ed]

Interactive: Explore who gains most from student debt forgiveness [The Hechinger Report]

Can community colleges grow revenue without sacrificing their missions? [Higher Ed Dive]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
Speaker of the House
Press Release: Dear Colleague on Passing of the American Rescue Plan

House Majority Leader
Press Release: Hoyer Statement on House Budget Committee Advancing the American Rescue Plan

Senate Majority Leader
Press Release: Transcript at Event to Push for Passage of Equality Act, Schumer Slams Recent GOP Attacks Against LGBTQ+ Community

Senate Minority Leader
Press Release: McConnell on House Passage of Partisan Spending Bill

House Education and Labor Committee
Press Release: Chairman Scott Statement on House Passage of the American Rescue Plan

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Press Release: Murray Urges Quick Confirmation for HHS Nominee Becerra To Support Biden-Harris COVID-19 Response Efforts

House Committee on Appropriations
Press Release: DeLauro Announces Community Project Funding in Fiscal Year 2022

Home Committee on Rules
Webcast of Friday’s House Committee Meeting: Meeting on H.R.1319 “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021”

House Committee on the Budget 
Press Release: Chairman Yarmuth Statement on House Passage of American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

House Committee on Science, Space and Technology
Press Release: Lucas Announces Subcommittee Membership for 117th Congress

Online Events:
March 4: The Hunt Institute event—“Postsecondary Pathways | Completion in the Age of COVID-19”
As state and institution leaders reflect on the end of the first full academic year that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, they will share what they have learned about how the pandemic disruptions affected the ability of higher education students to complete certificates and degrees. The resource experts will discuss innovative solutions that were used successfully to serve students as well as areas of need that must be addressed in future years.
Speakers:  Dr. Brian Bridges, Secretary of Higher Education, New Jersey; Antoinette Flores, Managing Director, Postsecondary Education, Center for American Progress; Dr. Timothy M. Renick, Executive Director, National Institute for Student Success, Georgia State University
11:00 a.m. Eastern
Register here.

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
White House Press Release: Statement by President Joe Biden on Emergency Use Authorization of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine

White House Press Release: Nominations Sent to the Senate, including James Richard Kvaal to be Under Secretary of Education

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

ED Blog: Keeping the Promise: Enhanced Entrance and Exit Counseling on StudentAid.gov

IES Report: “Study of College Transition Messaging in GEAR UP: Impacts on Enrolling and Staying in College”

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:
H.R.1319 — American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
Sponsor: Rep. Yarmuth, John A. [D-KY-3]
Committees: House – Budget
Committee Reports: H. Rept. 117-7
Latest Action: House – 02/27/2021 The Clerk was authorized to correct section numbers, punctuation, and cross references, and to make other necessary technical and conforming corrections in the engrossment of H.R. 1319.

H.R.1398 – To provide a credit against payroll taxes to businesses and nonprofit organizations that purchase or upgrade ventilation and air filtration systems to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other airborne communicable diseases.
Sponsor: Rep. Bourdeaux, Carolyn [D-GA-7]
Committees: House – Ways and Means
Latest Action: House – 02/26/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

H.R.1402 – To amend the Federal Pell Grant Program to support career training opportunities for young Americans.
Sponsor: Rep. Carter, John R. [R-TX-31]
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action: House – 02/26/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.

H.R.1421 – To establish a program that enables college-bound residents of outlying areas of the United States to have greater choices among institutions of higher education, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Del. Plaskett, Stacey E. [D-VI-At Large]
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action: House – 02/26/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.
Press Release: Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett Introduces New Legislation Aimed at Improving Economic Conditions in the Territory

H.R.5 – Equality Act
Sponsor: Rep. Cicilline, David N. [D-RI-1]
Committees:House – Judiciary; Education and Labor; Financial Services; Oversight and Reform; House Administration
Latest Action: House – 02/25/2021 Table the motion to reconsider Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: 211 – 195
Press Release: Cicilline Statement on Passage of Equality Act

H.R.447 – National Apprenticeship Act of 2021
Sponsor: Rep. Scott, Robert C. “Bobby” [D-VA-3]
Committees: House – Education and Labor; Judiciary | Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Action: Senate – 02/25/2021 Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. There have been 4 roll call votes.

H.R.1222 — To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 regarding proprietary institutions of higher education in order to protect students and taxpayers.
Sponsor: Rep. Cohen, Steve [D-TN-9] (Introduced 02/23/2021) Cosponsors: (2)
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action:  House – 02/23/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.
Press Release: Congressman Cohen, Senator Durbin Reintroduce POST Act

H.R.1263 — To limit Federal funding for institutions of higher education that have partnerships with the People’s Republic of China, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Stefanik, Elise M. [R-NY-21] (Introduced 02/23/2021) Cosponsors: (4)
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action:  House – 02/23/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.
Press Release: Congresswoman Stefanik Introduces, Cosponsors Bills To Combat Chinese Communist Party, Advance America’s Interests

S.396 — A bill to promote registered apprenticeships, including registered apprenticeships within in-demand industry sectors, through the support of workforce intermediaries, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Coons, Christopher A. [D-DE] (Introduced 02/23/2021) Cosponsors: (3)
Committees: Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Action:  Senate – 02/23/2021 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
Press Release: Bipartisan group aims to harness America’s entrepreneurial spirit in economic recovery, launch 320 new businesses annually

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
CNCS Comment Request: AmeriCorps Enrollment and Exit Form. Comments due on or before April 26, 2021.

Executive Office of the President Executive Order: Revocation of Executive Order 13801(Expanding Apprenticeships in America)