Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap-Up: June 17

Here’s a quick look at the news from last week (June 10– June 14) in Washington.


The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee marked up an Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization bill, the Strengthening America’s Schools Act last week. The bill was approved by the Committee on a party line vote of 12-10, with 10 amendments approved. Chairman Harkin stated that he hopes to bring the bill to the Senate floor sometime this year. Ranking Member Alexander also expressed interest in bringing the bill to the floor so long as there are adequate opportunities to offer amendments and debate the issues in the bill.

The HELP Committee will hold a full committee hearing on Thursday, June 20 on “Developing a Skilled Workforce for a Competitive Economy: Reauthorizing the Workforce Investment Act.” Witnesses have not yet been announced.

The Senate Budget Committee will hold a full committee hearing on the President’s FY14 education budget request on Tuesday, June 18. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will testify.

On Tuesday, the Senate began debate on S.744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, and floor debate will continue into next week. The bill includes several education-related provisions such as the DREAM Act, STEM education funding, requirements for English language skills, and student visa requirements.


House Education Committee Chairman Kline (R-MN), and Subcommittee Chairman Rokita (R-IN) introduced legislation to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and the committee will mark up the bill on Wednesday, June 19. The Student Success Act (H.R. 5) is largely based on ESEA reauthorization bills that were considered by the Committee in the 112th Congress, and this summary from the committee addresses the changes made from those bills.

The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will hold a subcommittee hearing on Thursday, June 20 on “The Value of Education for Veterans at Public, Private and For-Profit Colleges and Universities.” Witnesses have not been announced.


The U.S. Department of Education released a Federal Register notice last week calling for nominations to serve on a negotiated rule-making committee to debate the “gainful employment” regulation, and setting the schedule for the committee sessions. Nominations are due by July 12, and the committee will meet for two sessions: September  9-11, 2013; and October 21-23, 2013.

The notice also reiterates the Department’s intent to set up additional committees for the other topics on which they have signaled an intent to conduct negotiated rulemaking.  These topics include cash management of funds provided under title IV Federal Student Aid programs; regulations designed to prevent fraud; state authorization for programs offered through distance or correspondence education; state authorization for foreign locations of institutions located in a state; clock to credit hour conversion; changes made by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 to the campus safety and security reporting requirements in the HEA; the definition of “adverse credit” for borrowers in the Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program; and campus-based Federal Student Aid program reforms.


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