Washington Wrap Up – July 20, 2021

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

July 20, 2021

The House Appropriations Committee approved its Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations legislation.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee scheduled a vote on several nominations for Senate-appointed positions at the U.S. Department of Education (ED) for Wednesday, July 21 and held a hearing on three of these nominations.

The Senate confirmed Julie Su to serve as Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Labor.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) announced the House will consider a package of seven appropriations bills, including the Committee passed LHHS appropriations bill, during the week of July 26.

The House Education and Labor Committee approved H.R. 729, the Strength in Diversity Act of 2021, and H.R. 730, the Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act of 2021, on party line votes.

Senate Budget Committee Democrats and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced a $3.5 trillion top-line budget reconciliation target for a budget resolution which Schumer has said the Senate will vote on before the August recess.

President Biden signed an Executive Order on promoting competition in the American economy.

ED approved plans for using American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds for 10 States and the District of Columbia.

ED’s Office of Financial Student Aid (FSA) announced that it would limit the scope of its efforts to verify information submitted through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2021-2022 award year.

FSA announced the appointment of multiple individuals focused on improving operations and accountability in student loan servicing and postsecondary institutions compliance.

ED released a Frequently Asked Questions document on using COVID-19 relief funds to support full-service community schools.

The National Center for Education Statistics released a report on “Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2020.”

The National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) published a dashboard on “Federal Postsecondary Education and Student Aid Data.”

ED published requirements for the Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS) program under the ARP.

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]
FAFSA completions down nearly 5%, report says [Higher Ed Dive]

With DACA hopes dashed, California students look to Congress [EdSource]

Federal judge rules DACA is illegal [Inside Higher Ed]

Plans for free pre-K and community college could provide a ‘ladder into the middle class.’ [The New York Times]

Education Department eases federal student aid verification, for now [POLITICO]

Education Dept. shows limits of pandemic relief by fighting borrowers in bankruptcy [The Washington Post]

Appropriations Committee Approves Higher Education Funding Bill [Inside Higher Ed]

Many tuition-free college programs put up barriers for adults [Inside Higher Ed]

Federal Aid Verification Will Be More Targeted for 2021-22 Award Year [Inside Higher Ed]

Make Science Education Better, More Equitable, Says National Panel [Education Week]

How Are States Spending Their COVID Education Relief Funds? [The 74]
Future Ed Report: “How States Are Using Federal Funds for Learning Recovery”

Schools Are Receiving $129 Billion in Stimulus Aid. Where Is It Going? [The New York Times]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
Speaker of the House
Press Release: Pelosi Statement on Texas District Court Ruling on DACA

Press Release: Life-Changing Biden Child Tax Credit Dominates American Headlines

Press Release: Pelosi Remarks at Los Angeles Press Conference on Biden Child Tax Credit

Blog: Millions of Families Waking Up with More in the Bank Today Thanks to the Biden Child Tax Credit

Senate Majority Leader
Press Release: Transcript: Majority Leader Schumer Remarks At Press Conference On The First Day Of Child Tax Credit Payments Thanks To The American Rescue Plan: Democrats Are The Party Of Tax Cuts For The Middle Class

Senate Minority Leader
Speech: Inflation is Already Turning Workers’ Pay Raises into Pay Cuts, But Democrats Want to Spend Trillions More

Blog: Inflation Fears Grow Just As Democrats Propose Another Gargantuan Spending Blowout

House Education and Labor Committee
July 20: Joint Subcommittee Hearing: “Care for Our Communities: Investing in the Direct Care Workforce”
Witnesses: Mr. Robert Espinoza, Vice President of Policy, PHI, Bronx, NY; The Honorable Jessica Fay, State Representative, Maine House of Representatives, Raymond, ME; Ms. Zulma Torres, Home Health Aid, Cooperative Home Care Associates, Waterbury, CT; Mr. Paul M. Burani, Head of Business Development, North America, Udacity, Inc., Mountain View, CA
10:15 a.m. via Zoom

June 21: Joint Subcommittee Hearing: “Phasing Out Subminimum Wages: Supporting the Transition to Competitive Integrated Employment for Workers with Disabilities”
Witnesses: Ms. Nantanee Koppstein, Member, New Jersey Statewide Independent Living Council, Princeton Junction, NJ; Mr. John Anton, Legislative Specialist, Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress, Haverhill, MA; Dr. Matthew R. Putts, Chief Executive Officer, Employment Horizons, Inc., Cedar Knolls, NJ; Mr. Anil Lewis, Executive Director, Jernigan Institute, National Federation of the Blind, Baltimore, MD
10:15 a.m. via Zoom

Press Release: Democrats Advance Bills Threatening Economic Recovery, Religious Freedoms

Press Release: Chairman Scott Statement on ED Decision to Streamline Financial Aid Verification

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
July 20: Full Committee Hearing: “The Path Forward: A Federal Perspective on the COVID-19 Response”
Witnesses: Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, Director, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA; Anthony Fauci, MD, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; Janet Woodcock, MD, Acting Commissioner, United States Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, MD; Dawn O’Connell, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC
10:00 a.m. in 430 Dirksen Senate Office Building or via Live Stream

July 21: Executive Session: S. 1275 and Nominations of Catherine Lhamon to be Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the Department of Education, Elizabeth Brown to be General Counsel of the Department of Education, Roberto Rodriguez to be Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development at the Department of Education
Time and location TBD

July 22: Full Committee Hearing: “The Right to Organize: Empowering American Workers in a 21st Century Economy”
Witnesses: to be announced
10:00 a.m. in 430 Dirksen Senate Office Building or webcast

Press Release: Murray Urges Confirmation for Education Nominees Catherine Lhamon, Elizabeth Brown, and Roberto Rodríguez

House Committee on Appropriations
Press Release: House to Consider Appropriations Bill Next Week

Press Release: Chair DeLauro Closing Remarks at Final Fiscal Year 2022 Full Committee Markup

Press Release: Appropriations Committee Approves Fiscal Year 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Funding Bill

Press Release: Chair DeLauro Statement at Full Committee Markup of Fiscal Year 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Funding Bill

Press Release: Committee Republicans Object to Labor-Health and Human Services-Education and Commerce-Justice-Science Bills

Press Release: Granger Remarks at Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education FY22 Full Committee Markup

Press Release: Appropriations Committee Releases Reports for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies and Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Bills

House Ways & Means Committee 
July 21: Trade Subcommittee Hearing: “The Global Challenge of Forced Labor in Supply Chains: Strengthening Enforcement and Protecting Workers”
Witnesses: Jennifer Rosenbaum, Executive Director, Global Labor Justice-International Labor Rights Forum, Washington DC; Neha Misra, Global Lead, Migration and Human Trafficking, Solidarity Center, Washington DC; Charity Ryerson, Executive Director, Corporate Accountability Lab, Chicago, IL; Genevieve LeBaron, Professor of Politics, University of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England; Brian Lowry, Senior Vice President, Innovation, Regulation, and Trade, United States Council for International Business, New York, New York
10:00 a.m. via Cisco Webex

Online Events:
July 22: Microsoft event— “Virtual @Microsoft Conversations: Reshaping America’s Digital Infrastructure for the 21st Century and Beyond”
Please join Microsoft for a virtual conversation on reshaping America’s
digital infrastructure in connectivity and skills for the 21st century and beyond. While our technology-fueled era has created prosperity for some, it has fallen far short of reaching everyone. The United States needs broader steps to support dislocated workers, expand educational access, and revitalize rural communities.
To make the most of technology’s future, the United States must address the new infrastructure of our day – from broadband and digital skills to access to devices. Federal investments in infrastructure will dramatically accelerate the creation of quality jobs. Private ingenuity and public investment can help ensure that technology’s benefits reach everyone and promote digital equity.
During the event, we’ll demonstrate a new dashboard providing a state-by-state look at efforts to close the digital opportunity gap.
We are excited to announce that Sen. Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico will offer welcome remarks.
Join a virtual discussion on how investing in digital infrastructure, such as connectivity and skills, can help promote inclusive economic recovery and close the digital opportunity gap.
Speakers: Garlin Gilchrist, Lt. Governor, Michigan; Dr. Dominique Harrison
Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies; Angela Siefer, National Digital Inclusion Alliance; Katie Spiker, National Skills Coalition; Portia Wu, Microsoft
2:00 – 2:45 p.m.
Register here.

July 28: Strada Education Network event—“Public Viewpoint: Examining the Value of Nondegree Credentials”
The number of organizations offering non-degree credentials is proliferating, and interest from learners in these credentials — certificates, certifications, and licenses — is growing. But even though these credentials are now in the spotlight, we have relatively sparse data on outcomes. To provide more understanding, through a Strada-Gallup survey we asked more than 14,000 adults across the nation about earnings, job satisfaction, and perceptions about the worth and benefits of nondegree credentials. This month’s Strada Public Viewpoint release compares learner outcomes across degree, nondegree, and combined pathways. By examining programs of different lengths and the experiences of different populations, we aim to provide insights that inform our understanding of the value and potential limitations of nondegree credentials.
2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern
Register here.

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
White House Press Release: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki, July 19, 2021

White House Press Release: Statement by President Joe Biden on DACA and Legislation for Dreamers

White House Press Release: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki, July 16, 2021

White House Press Release: Remarks by President Biden to Mark the Day That Tens of Millions of Families Will Get Their First Monthly Child Tax Credit Relief Payments Thanks to the American Rescue Plan

White House Press Release: Fact Sheet: How the Build Back Better Framework Will Support Women’s Employment and Strengthen Family Economic Security

White House Press Release: Fact Sheet: Biden-Harris Administration Distributes First Monthly Payments of the Expanded Child Tax Credit

White House Press Release: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki, July 14, 2021

White House Press Release: Remarks by President Biden Before a Meeting with Bipartisan Governors and Mayors to Discuss the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework

ED Press Release: U.S. Department of Education Releases “Frequently Asked Questions: Using American Rescue Plan Funding to Support Full-Service Community Schools & Related Strategies”

ED Press Release: U.S. Department of Education Announces Temporary Changes to the Federal Aid Verification Process for the 2021-22 Award Year

ED Press Release: Secretary Cardona to Participate in READY SET Event with NBA Cares Ambassador and Former NBA Player Jason Collins Highlighting Mentoring Opportunities and Summer Programing to Prepare Students for the Fall

ED Media Advisory: Secretary Cardona and New Jersey Rep. Donald Norcross Join Students, Local Leaders to Discuss Making College More Affordable Through the Build Back Better Agenda and Supporting School Reopening Through the American Rescue Plan

ED Media Advisory: Secretary Cardona to Join Arizona Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva for Roundtable Discussion with Students to Highlight Support for Tribal Colleges and Universities and Build Back Better Agenda

ED Blog: Students, Immigration Status, and the Right to Public Education

IES Report2007-08 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:08) Restricted-Use Data File”

IES Report: “Using High School and College Data to Predict Teacher Candidates’ Performance on the Praxis at Unibetsedåt Guåhan (University of Guam)”

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:
H.R.4502 —Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2022
Sponsor: Rep. DeLauro, Rosa L. [D-CT-3] (Introduced 07/19/2021) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Appropriations
Latest Action: House – 07/19/2021 Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 69.

H.R.4533 —To amend the General Education Provisions Act to allow the release of education records to facilitate the award of a recognized postsecondary credential.
Sponsor: Rep. Neguse, Joe [D-CO-2] (Introduced 07/19/2021)
Cosponsors: (2)
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action: House – 07/19/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.

S.2379 —A bill to amend the General Education Provisions Act to allow the release of education records to facilitate the award of a recognized postsecondary credential.
Sponsor: Sen. Warner, Mark [D-VA] (Introduced 07/19/2021)
Cosponsors: (3)
Committees: Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Action: Senate – 07/19/2021 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
Press Release: Senators Introduce Bicameral, Bipartisan Bill to Help Students ‘Reverse’ Transfer Credits from Four-Year Universities to Community Colleges

H.R.4455 — To amend the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 to extend certain certification periods for the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Hayes, Jahana [D-CT-5] (Introduced 07/16/2021) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action: House – 07/16/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.
Press Release: Hayes Introduces WIC For Kids Act to Remove Access Barriers for Women and Children

H.R.4462 — To amend title IV of the Social Security Act to provide for parental leave payments to parents after the birth or adoption of a child in lieu of child care assistance, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. LaHood, Darin [R-IL-18] (Introduced 07/16/2021) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Ways and Means
Latest Action: House – 07/16/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.
Press Release: LaHood Introduces Bill to Strengthen Paid Leave Options for Working Parents

H.R.4490 — To direct the Secretary of Labor to award formula and competitive grants for layoff aversion activities, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Smith, Adam [D-WA-9] (Introduced 07/16/2021) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action: House – 07/16/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.
Press Release: Congressman Smith Reintroduces the Emergency Economic and Workforce System Resiliency Act

S.2357 – A bill to fight homelessness in the United States by authorizing a grant program within the Health Resources and Services Administration for housing programs that offer comprehensive services and intensive case management for homeless individuals and families.
Sponsor: Sen. Feinstein, Dianne [D-CA] (Introduced 07/15/2021)
Committees: Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Action: Senate – 07/15/2021 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. (Sponsor introductory remarks on measure: CR S4928-4929)
Press Release: Feinstein, Padilla, Lieu Introduce Bill to Address Root Causes of Homelessness

S.2344 — A bill to award grants for the creation, recruitment, training and education, retention, and advancement of the direct care workforce and to award grants to support family caregivers.
Sponsor: Sen. Kaine, Timothy [D-VA] (Introduced 07/14/2021) Cosponsors: (7)
Committees: Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Action: Senate – 07/14/2021 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
Press Release: Kaine Introduces Legislation to Support Direct Care Workforce & Family Caregivers

H.R.4411 — To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to expand and modify employer educational assistance programs, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Davis, Danny K. [D-IL-7] (Introduced 07/13/2021) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House – Ways and Means
Latest Action: House – 07/13/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
ED Comment Request: Application for the Educational Flexibility (Ed-Flex) Program. Comments due on or before September 17, 2021.

ED Comment Request: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Improper Payments Information Form. Comments due on or before August 18, 2021.

ED Comment Request: Income Driven Repayment Plan Request for the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans and Federal Family Education Loan Programs. Comments due on or before August 18, 2021.

ED Notice: Federal Need Analysis Methodology for the 2022-23 Award Year-Federal Pell Grant, Federal Work-Study, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, and TEACH Grant Programs.

ED Final Waiver: Final Waiver and Extension of the Project Periods for the Equity Assistance Centers Grant Program. The waiver and extension of the project periods are effective July 16, 2021. 

ED Notice: ESEA Fiscal Waiver Requests. Comments due on or before September 1, 2021. 

DOL Comment Request: Reentry Employment Opportunity (REO) Evaluation. Comments due on or by August 16, 2021.