Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – January 30, 2017

A quick look back at the news from last week. 


The Members on the House Education and the Workforce Committee have been finalized.

House Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee Chairman Todd Rokita and Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) re-introduced the Creating Hope and Opportunities for Individuals and Communities through Education (CHOICE) Act (H.R.691 and S.235).

House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee Chairman Tim Walberg (R-MI) issued a statement applauding President Trump’s executive action “minimizing the economic burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

Chairwoman Foxx spoke at the National School Choice Week Rally, and her remarks can be found here.

The House Education and the Workforce Committee adopted, during their organizational meeting, the Committee’s rules and oversight plan for the 115th Congress.

The House Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee will hold a hearing to examine school choice and its impacts on Thursday, February 2. Witnesses have yet to be announced.


The HELP Committee rescheduled the date of the Committee’s executive session on the funding resolution, adoption of Committee rules and subcommittee assignments, including the nomination of Betsy DeVos to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) from Tuesday, January 24 to Tuesday, January 31.

HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released a statement commemorating School Choice Week 2017, as designated by Senate Resolution 26, which was agreed to on January 24.

HELP Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) sent a letter to Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor nominee Andrew Puzder requesting that he release three years of tax returns and urging him to provide the required Committee paperwork with sufficient time in advance of his nomination hearing.

The HELP Committee rescheduled Mr. Puzder’s nomination hearing to Tuesday, February 7. Ranking Member Murray issued a statement voicing her concerns over the rescheduling.

The Senate Budget Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Representative Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget. Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) released a statement supporting Mulvaney’s nomination.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-VT) announced the subcommittee chairs, ranking members and membership of the Committee for the 115th Congress.


President Trump issued a memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies announcing a regulatory freeze on pending regulations.

ED announced that, in accordance with President Trump’s “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review” memorandum, the effective dates of the accountability and State plans under the Every Student
Succeeds Act, the open licensing requirement for competitive grant programs and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act will be delayed until March 21, 2017.

Jason Botel, the former State director of the Maryland Campaign for Achievement Now (an organization that advocates for charter schools and the use of student achievement in teacher and school accountability) will serve as a senior education adviser for the White House.

ED released its latest list of colleges facing sexual-violence investigations, under Title IX, after initially signaling that they would not do so and HELP Committee Ranking Member Murray issued a statement voicing her concerns over ED not releasing the list.

President Trump issued a statement supporting school choice and proclaiming January 22 through January 28, 2017, as National School Choice Week.

The Higher Learning Commission approved the extension of the University of Phoenix’s accreditation after the sale of the Apollo Education Group, the parent company of the University of Phoenix.


Penn Hill Group plans to provide clients with summaries of the following events next week:

  • January 31 Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Executive Session on “Committee Funding Resolution, Adoption of Committee Rules, and Subcommittee Assignments, including the Nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education”
  • February 2  House Education and the Workforce Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Helping Students Succeed Through the Power of School Choice”