Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up: April 7

Here’s a quick look at the news from last week (March 31 – April 4). 

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) released a Fiscal Year 2015 budget resolution last week, which the House Budget Committee marked up and passed on Wednesday. The budget resolution proposes no change to the overall cap on discretionary spending and 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 budget resolution also calls for 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. The bill may go to the House floor as early as this week.

The Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Education released a report on security problems in K-12 testing it found as part of a nationwide audit. The report specifically cites Mississippi, Nebraska, South Carolina and Texas as having security issues with their tests.

Senate education committee Chairman Harkin (D-IA) and Senator Durbin (D-IL) introduced a bill, the “Proprietary Education Oversight Coordination Improvement Act,” that would create an oversight committee of federal agencies, including Defense, Education, Justice, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Securities and Exchange Commission, to coordinate oversight of for-profit colleges.

The Senate unanimously confirmed the nominations of Christopher Lu to serve as Deputy Secretary of Labor, and Portia Wu to serve as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training.

The Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Wednesday, April 9 on the budget for the U.S. Department of Labor with Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez testifying.

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions will hold a hearing on Thursday, April 10 on “Expanding Access to Quality Early Learning: the Strong Start for America’s Children Act.”

The House of Representatives passed the “Save American Workers Act” (H.R. 2575) on Thursday by a vote of 248-179. The bill repeals the 30-hour threshold for classification as a full-time employee under the Affordable Care Act and replaces it with 40 hours.

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce released two bipartisan bills last week, which they will mark up on Tuesday, April 8.

Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) has been named a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

The House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Tuesday, April 8 on the budget for the U.S. Department of Education with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan testifying.

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