Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – September 28, 2015

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


Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) announced he will resign from Congress and give up his speakership at the end of October.

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee will hold a hearing on H.R. 3033, the Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia Act on Wednesday, September 30. Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, District 12 Representative, Texas State Board of Education; Barbara Wilson, Co-Founder and Co-President, Wilson Language Training; and Dr. Rachel Robillard, Assistant Director, 504 Services and Response to Intervention, Austin Independent School District will testify.

Bipartisan legislation, the Higher Education Extension Act of 2015, was introduced last Thursday to extend the Perkins Loan Program for an additional year, through September 2016. House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) have both expressed support for the legislation. The legislation may be considered on the House floor as early as this week.


The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) discussed concern regarding the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED’s) authority to issue guidance on bullying at a Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management hearing.


Last Thursday, the Senate failed to invoke cloture on a continuing resolution funding the government through December 11 of this year. The primary opposition was due to the resolution’s elimination of funding for Planned Parenthood. The Senate has begun consideration of a continuing resolution that does not include any Planned Parenthood provisions. Politico is reporting the House will vote on a continuing resolution that also does not include any Planned Parenthood provisions this week.

Roll Call is reporting that House Republicans may begin the process of moving budget reconciliation legislation, as a means to eliminating federal funding for Planned Parenthood. The Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Resolution provided both the House Education and the Workforce Committee and Senate HELP Committee with reconciliation instructions.


ED released guidance for institutions of higher education participating in competency based education experimental sites.

ED and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released the English Learner (EL) Tool Kit to support states, districts and schools in ensuring access to quality education for ELs.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office released a report indicating many eligible borrowers for Income-Based Repayment and Pay As You Earn repayment plans do not participate in the programs, in part due to ED not providing enough information about these available plans.