A quick look back at the news from last week.
The House and Senate approved the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Budget Resolution. The resolution provides reconciliation instructions for the House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees, as well as for the Senate Finance and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committees.
House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) announced the new Republican members who will serve on the committee in the 115th Congress. Chairwoman Foxx also announced the members who will serve as chairs of the four standing subcommittees. Representative Todd Rokita (R-IN) will chair the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education. Representative Brett Guthrie (R-KY) will chair the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development.
The House passed the Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers (INSPIRE) Women Act (H.R. 321), introduced by Representative Barbara Comstock (R-VA), as well as the Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act (H.R. 255), introduced by Representative Elizabeth Esty (D-CT). Both bills encourage more women to pursue careers in science.
Representatives Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Mark Takano (D-CA) announced the formation of a new caucus, the House Public Education Caucus, which opposes Betsy DeVos’ nomination as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and supports funding for public schools.
House Budget Committee Interim Chairwoman Diane Black (R-TN) announced the Republican members of the Committee for the 115th Congress.
House Science, Space, and Technologies Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) announced the committee members for the 115th Congress.
The HELP Committee rescheduled the date of the full committee hearing on the nomination of Betsy DeVos to serve as ED Secretary from Wednesday, January 11th to Tuesday, January 17th. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 5pm on the 17th.
The HELP Committee will hold a full committee hearing on the nomination of Representative Tom Price (R-GA) to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday, January 18th.
HELP Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) sent a letter to Director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) Walter Shaub Jr., requesting information on the status and process that OGE will use for DeVos’ nomination. Director Shaub sent a letter back to Ranking Member Murray, explaining the review process and stating that the process can take weeks or even months.
HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released a statement supporting Devos’ nomination for ED Secretary.
Ranking Member Murray released a statement saying that she would oppose any U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District that would reduce the level of educational benefit school districts must provide students with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-VT) announced the subcommittee ranking members for the 115th Congress.
ED released the debt-to-earnings rates for career training programs, as calculated under the Gainful Employment regulations. ED found that over 800 programs failed to meet the debt-to-earnings thresholds in the regulation.
ED announced plans to grant borrower defense relief for Federal student loan borrowers who attended the American Career Institute (ACI), which is now closed. ED also announced progress with processing borrower defense claims from former Corinthian Colleges Inc. students and that approvals are beginning for borrower defense claims from former ITT Technical Institutes students.
ED updated the data on the College Scorecard, including the repayment rate data and Financial Aid Shopping Sheet Institutional Metric Data attachment, after ED found an error in the calculations for repayment rates.
President Obama signed into law the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (AICA), S. 3084, which encourages scientific entrepreneurship, expands research opportunities and enhances diversity in STEM fields.
President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint Barbara Jenkins, Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz and Daniel Willingham to the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences.
ED Secretary John King released his Cabinet Exit Memo.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service published, in the Federal Register, the final information collection requirements associated with the Local School Wellness Policy Implementation rule under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.
President Obama named 102 scientists and researchers as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers.
The U.S. Supreme Court held oral arguments in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, a case about the level of educational benefit school districts must provide students with disabilities under IDEA.
Penn Hill Group plans to provide clients with a summary of the following event next week:
- January 17 Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on the “Nomination of Betsy DeVos to serve as Secretary of Education”
- January 18 Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on the “Nomination of Tom Price to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services”
- January 18 Thomas B. Fordham Institute and the Hoover Institution panel discussion on “A New Federal Push on Private School Choice? Three Options to Consider”