Washington Wrap Up – April 6, 2021

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

April 6, 2021

The House and Senate were in recess this week. The House and Senate will be in recess next week with the Senate returning on Monday, April 12, and the House returning for legislative business on Tuesday, April 13.

The Government Accountability Office released a report titled “Sustained Federal Action Is Crucial as Pandemic Enters Its Second Year.”

The Biden Administration released a proposal for a $2 trillion American Jobs Plan package.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced it would be expanding its moratorium on student loan payments and interest to include defaulted Federal student loans that are held by Family Federal Education Loan (FFEL) private lenders. The Department also announced student loan relief during the COVID-19 pandemic for certain borrowers who have received student loan discharges due to total and permanent disability.

ED’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education issued a set of responses to State requests for waivers from testing requirements under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act during the 2020-2021 school year.

The U.S. Secret Service released a report on “Averting Targeted School Violence.”

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) issued a report on “Center- and Program-Level Factors Associated with Turnover in the Early Childhood Education Workforce.”

IES issued a report on “Pre-COVID Ability Grouping in U.S. Public Schools.”

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments about whether NCAA restrictions on student athlete compensation violate antitrust laws.

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]
Ed. Dept. to Review Title IX Rules on Sexual Assault, Gender Equity, LGBTQ Rights [Education Week]

Justice Department Memo Could Stoke State-Federal Fights Over Transgender Students’ Rights [Education Week]

Why Students Aren’t Filling Out the FAFSA [Inside Higher Ed]

Employers say college grads lack needed skills, but that could be changing, survey finds [Higher Ed Dive]

A Great Admissions Year, for Some [Inside Higher Ed]

Biden requesting information on legal authority to cancel student debt [The Hill]

Unions demand Biden cancel student debt for public service workers [POLITICO]

Biden proposes $45B for research at minority-serving colleges [Higher Ed Dive]

[Audio] High School Seniors Ask, ‘What Will College Look Like Next Fall?’ [NPR]

Are more college closures ahead? [Higher Ed Dive]

The Pandemic Hit the Working Class Hard. The Colleges That Serve Them Are Hurting, Too. [The New York Times]

How can outcomes-based funding for colleges promote equity? [Inside Higher Ed]

Biden pitches $12B for community college infrastructure [Higher Ed Dive]

Education Department grants FFEL borrowers in default zero interest, paused collections during pandemic [Inside Higher Ed]

Virginia establishes tuition-free community college for high-demand fields [Higher Ed Dive]

Adjunct college faculty taking the biggest hit from pandemic job losses [Higher Ed Dive]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
The House and the Senate are in recess this week. Congress will return to session the week of April 12, 2021. 

Speaker of the House
Press Release: Pelosi Statement on Biden American Jobs Plan

Senate Majority Leader
Press Release: Majority Leader Schumer Statement On The American Jobs Plan

Senate Minority Leader
Press Release: McConnell: Democrats’ Non-Infrastructure “Infrastructure” Proposal a Missed Opportunity

House Education and Labor Committee
Press Release: Chairman Scott, Rep. Adams Celebrate Major Victory for HBCUs

Press Release: Chairman Scott Praises Education Department for Expanding Relief for Distressed Student Borrowers

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Press Release: Senator Murray Statement on Historic Home Care Investment in the American Jobs Plan

U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee
April 14: Hearing: “Vaccinations and the Economic Recovery”
Witnesses: Dr. Paul Romer, Nobel Prize Winning economist and NYU Professor, New York, NY; Dr. Céline Gounder, MD, ScM, FIDSA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine & Infectious Diseases, NYU School of Medicine & Bellevue Hospital, CEO of Just Human Productions, New York, NY; Dr. Alexander Tabarrok, Bartley J. Madden Chair in Economics at the Mercatus Center and Professor of Economics George Mason University, Fairfax, VA; Dr. Belinda Archibong, Assistant Professor, Economics, Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, NY
2:30 p.m. via webcast

House Committee on the Budget
Press Release: Chairman Yarmuth Statement on March Jobs Report

House Committee on Appropriations
Press Release: DeLauro Statement on the American Jobs Plan

House Committee on Science, Space and Technology
Press Release: Chairwoman Johnson Statement On Biden’s American Jobs Plan

House Committee on Energy and Commerce
Press Release: Pallone On President Biden’s American Jobs Plan

Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis
Press Release: Select Subcommittee Releases New Evidence Of Trump Administration’s Failure To Address Supply Shortages

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
White House Blog: The Employment Situation in March

White House Press Release: Fact Sheet: The American Jobs Plan

ED Press Release: Secretary of Education Joins Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Chuck Schumer for a Roundtable Discussion with Student Loan Borrowers and Advocates

ED Press Release: Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights Launches Comprehensive Review of Title IX Regulations to Fulfill President Biden’s Executive Order Guaranteeing an Educational Environment Free from Sex Discrimination

DOL Press Release: Statement from U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh on the March 2021 Employment Situation Report

GAO Report: “COVID-19: Sustained Federal Action Is Crucial as Pandemic Enters Its Second Year”

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:
H.R.2283 — To authorize the Secretary of Education to award grants to eligible entities to carry out educational programs that include the history of peoples of Asian and Pacific Islander descent in the settling and founding of America, the social, economic, and political environments that led to the development of discriminatory laws targeting Asians and Pacific Islanders and their relation to current events, and the impact and contributions of Asian Americans to the development and enhancement of American life, United States history, literature, the economy, politics, body of laws, and culture, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Meng, Grace [D-NY-6] (Introduced 03/29/2021) Cosponsors: (48)
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action:  04/05/2021 Sponsor introductory remarks on measure.

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
VA Notice of Virtual Meeting: Advisory Committee on Veterans’ Employment, Training and Employer Outreach (ACVETEO). Meeting will occur via WebEx on Thursday, April 29 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m EST. All meeting participants should submit a notice of intent to attend by Friday, April 16 via email to Mr. Gregory Green at ACVETEO@dol.gov, subject line “April 2021 ACVETEO Meeting.”

ED Comment Request: Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs Match Waiver Request Form. Comments due by or on April 8, 2021. 

ED Comment Request: HBCU Scholar Recognition Program. Comments due on or before April 30, 2021.