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

Here’s a quick look at the news from last week (January 14 –  January 18) in Washington.

President Obama released a number of proposals and recommendations for reducing gun violence, some of which include school safety measures, and expanded mental health services in schools. Many of the proposals will require congressional approval, but there are some executive orders.

The U.S. Department of Education is considering offering a small number of ESEA waivers to districts in California, according to Education Week. The state of California’s waiver application was denied last week, and eight districts, including Los Angeles Unified School Districts, are interested in continuing to pursue waivers.

House Democrats selected Ranking Members and subcommittee assignments for the Committee on Education & the Workforce:
Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education – Carolyn McCarthy (Ranking Member), Robert Scott, Susan Davis, Raul Grijalva, Marcia Fudge, Jared Polis, Gregorio Sablan, and Frederica Wilson

Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions – Robert Andrews (Ranking Member), Rush Holt, David Loebsack, Scott, Ruben Hinojosa, John Tierney, Grijalva, Joe Courtney, Polis, John Yarmuth, Wilson

Higher Education and Workforce Training – Hinojosa (Ranking Member), Tierney, Timothy Bishop, Yarmuth, Suzanne Bonamici, McCarthy, Holt, Davis, Loebsack

Workforce Protections – Courtney (Ranking Member), Andrews, Bishop, Fudge, Sablan, Bonamici

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memo last week giving guidance to Federal agencies on planning for budget sequestration, which is scheduled to go into effect on March 1, 2013. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that he expects that the United States will reach the debt ceiling between mid-February and early March. Timing for this could coincide with debates around the sequester.