Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – May 18, 2015

A quick look at the news from last week, compiled by Penn Hill Group: 


The House is scheduled to consider the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 this week, which reauthorizes the U.S. National Science Foundation and other Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related agencies.

The House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education will hold a subcommittee hearing on May 19 on waste, fraud and abuse in federal child nutrition programs. Witnesses for this hearing have not yet been announced.


The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a committee hearing on May 20 on institutional risk-sharing as it relates to reauthorizing the Higher Education Act. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) will testify during Panel I and Andrew Kelley, Director of the Center for Higher Education Reform at the American Enterprise Institute; Robert Silberman, Executive Chairman of Strayer Education, Inc.; Jennifer Wang, Policy Director of Young Invincibles; and Dr. Douglas Webber, Assistant Professor at Temple University will testify during Panel II.


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) hosted a public field hearing on student debt on May 14. U.S. Department of Education (ED) Under Secretary Ted Mitchell, CFPB Director Richard Cordray, various consumer groups, industry representatives and members of the public all spoke. CFPB is calling for comments on student loan servicing to improve borrower service, reduce defaults, develop best practices, assess consumer protections and spur innovation by July 13, 2015.

ED released a notice of proposed rulemaking, as a part of a “Program Integrity and Improvement” package, on financial aid access fees to ensure students have convenient access to federal financial aid and aren’t charged unreasonable fees or led to believe they are required to open a specific bank account to access their aid.

Julius Lloyd Horwich has been nominated as Assistant Secretary for Legislation and Congressional Affairs at ED. Horwich is currently the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislative and Congressional Affairs at ED.