Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – February 6, 2017

A quick look back at the news from last week. 



House Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee Chairman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) introduced a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to repeal the Department of Education’s (ED) recently promulgated Title II Teacher Preparation regulation.

House Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee Chairman Todd Rokita (R-IN) introduced a CRA resolution to repeal ED’s recently promulgated ESEA State Plans and Accountability regulation.

The House Rules Committee will meet on Monday, February 6 to discuss the CRA resolutions to repeal accountability and State plans and teacher prep regulations.

The House Education and the Workforce Committee will hold a hearing on the challenges and opportunities in higher education on Tuesday, February 7. Beth Akers, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute; Dr. William E. Kirwan, Co-Chair, Task Force on Federal Regulation of Higher Education; Dr. José Luis Cruz, President, Lehman College of the City University of New York; and Kevin Gilligan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Capella Education Company will testify.

The House Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee held a hearing to examine school choice and its impacts. The webcast and testimony can be found here.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) announced new hires and staff assignments for the 12 Appropriations subcommittees.

The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee announced its priorities for the 115th Congress.


The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held an Executive Session, during which the Committee voted to favorably report the nomination of Betsy DeVos for ED Secretary to the full Senate by a party line vote of 12-11.

Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME) announced that they would not vote to confirm DeVos as ED Secretary.

The Senate voted 52-48 on the cloture motion on DeVos’ nomination. The cloture vote began up to 30 hours of post-cloture debate on her nomination. Debate will continue on Monday, February 6.

The 30 hours of debate on the nomination of DeVos on the Senate floor began with HELP Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) speaking out in opposition.

The Senate will vote on the nomination of DeVos for ED Secretary next week, as early as Tuesday afternoon.

HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released a statement supporting the nomination of DeVos for ED Secretary.

HELP Committee Ranking Member Murray released a statement opposing the nomination of DeVos for ED Secretary, as well as a statement voicing her concerns about the pace of her nomination process.

The Senate Budget Committee voted to favorably report the nomination of Representative Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) for director of the Office of Management and Budget.

The hearing on Andrew Puzder’s nomination for Secretary for the Department of Labor has been delayed for the fourth time.

More than 200 colleges have given ED notice that they will appeal their gainful employment ratings.

HELP Committee Chairman Alexander announced the chairs and assignments for the Committee’s three subcommittees for the 115th Congress


President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court of the United States.

Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, stated that President Trump has asked him to lead a new task force to identify changes that should be made to ED’s policies and procedures.

ED expanded their staff to include Matt Frendewey, Nate Bailey, Michael Brickman, Gillum Ferguson, Ebony Lee, Laura Rigas and Jana Toner.


Penn Hill Group plans to provide clients with a summary of the following event next week:

  • February 7 House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing on “Challenges and Opportunities in Higher Education”