Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap-Up: June 18

Here’s a quick look at the news from last week (June 11 – 15) in Washington.

The Department of Education released its second annual list of college-cost data last week – the published report lists the most and least expensive schools, by sector.

The House was in recess this past week.

Senate Democrats have offered two new offsets to pay for a one year delay in the scheduled rise in student loan interest rates, and tied it to the completion of the Highway bill.  The offsets offered by Majority Leader Reid would reduce Medicare consumption through changes in tax law and increase premiums paid by businesses to the Pensions Benefit Guaranty Corporation.  Reid urged the use of these offsets for both the delay in student loan interest rates and a re-authorization of the Highway bill.  Discussions are continuing behind the scenes on this issue.

The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held a hearing last week to hear testimony from several Veterans’ organizations on legislation including: S. 2179, the Military and Veterans Reform Act of 2012 (Sen. Webb), S. 2206 the GI Educational Freedom Act of 2012 (Sen. Lautenberg), and S. 2241, the GI Bill Consumer Awareness Act of 2012 (Sen. Murray).

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education marked up a FY13 Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations bill on Tuesday, June 12 and passed the bill by a vote of 10-7. The Full Senate Appropriations Committee marked up the bill on Thursday, and the bill was reported out on a party line vote of 16-14.The Committee posted report language on Friday.

It is possible that the House Labor, HHS, Education Subcommittee will mark up its 2013 appropriations legislation as soon as this week.