Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap-Up: October 22

Here’s a quick look at the news from last week (October 15-19) in Washington.


The Department of Education announced the approval of Idaho’s application for an ESEA waiver. In total, thirty-four states and D.C. have been granted ESEA waivers, 10 states have outstanding requests for waivers, and 6 states have not yet requested a waiver.

President Obama and Governor Romney had their second debate in a Town Hall format, and education issues such as college affordability and Pell Grants were brought up several times by members of the audience and the candidates.
Transcript and video of the debate.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held a full committee field hearing  on BEST – Building Educational Success Together, on Friday in Anchorage, AK.

Senators Alexander, Warner and others are reported to be in discussions to provide an alternative to sequestration orders expected to be executed in early January.  Under discussion is a package which would include a delay of sequestration for a year, legislation providing some level of deficit reduction in the short term – essentially a “down payment” on sequestration, and a reconciliation-like process designed to produce savings to substitute for the cuts required by the sequester and out-year reductions in discretionary appropriations caps.  If Congress would prove unsuccessful under the reconciliation-like process, then a modified version of the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction package would be put into place.