Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up: April 15

Here’s a quick look at the news from last week (April 7 – April 11).



The House of Representatives voted 219-205 to pass a Fiscal Year 2015 budget resolution, which was originally introduced by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI). Twelve Republicans and all Democrats voted against the budget resolution. The budget resolution proposes no change to the individual caps on defense and non-defense discretionary spending for FY 2015 that were adopted as part of the Murray/Ryan budget bill at the end of 2014. However, for FY 2016 through FY 2024, the budget resolution calls for a reduction in the Budget Control Act caps for non-defense discretionary spending by $791 billion. Overall discretionary spending would be reduced by $308 billion over the 10-year period. The report accompanying the budget resolution recommends cuts and streamlining of programs for job training, federal student aid, K-12 programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment of the Arts, the National Endowment of the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, although these recommendations would require separate Congressional action to become law. Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) has publicly stated that the Senate will not consider a budget resolution this year.


Vice President Joe Biden announced last week that the Administration is forming a consortium of colleges, employers and unions to promote the use of apprenticeships for college credit. The Registered Apprenticeship-College Consortium will enable apprentices to earn college credit for their Registered Apprenticeship experience.

The U.S. Department of Education announced that there will be an additional fourth session of the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee on Program Integrity issues. The Committee has held two of the three sessions originally scheduled. The fourth session is for the purposes of further discussion on issues related to PLUS loans, and will take place on May 19 and 20.

The Obama Administration announced 24 winners of the first Youth CareerConnect grant competition. The 24 winners will split $107 million that will be spent on high school redesign.


The House Committee on Education and the Workforce marked up and passed two bipartisan bills last week:
·         The “Strengthening Education through Research Act” (H.R. 4366), introduced by Rep. Rokita (R-IN) and Rep. McCarthy (D-NY),  would reauthorize the Education Sciences Reform Act (ESRA). The bill passed by a voice vote.

·         The “Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act” (H.R. 10), introduced by Rep. Kline (R-MN) and Rep. Miller (D-CA), makes changes to the federal Charter Schools Program. The bill passed by a vote of 36-3, with Reps. Grijalva (D-AZ), Bishop (D-NY) and Fudge (D-OH) casting the dissenting votes.

The House and Senate are in recess for the next two weeks and are scheduled to return to session on Monday, April 28.


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