Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – April 25, 2017

A quick look back at the news from last week. Compiled by Penn Hill Group. 


The House and Senate will return from their recess next week.

The current continuing resolution that is funding the Federal government expires on Friday, April 28.

The House Education and the Workforce Committee will hold a hearing on strengthening accreditation on Thursday, April 27. Witnesses have yet to be announced.

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released a statement saying that the Senate will soon confirm U.S. Department of Labor Secretary nominee Alexander Acosta.


President Trump signed the executive order (EO) “Buy American and Hire American,” which aims to support domestic products and bring jobs back to the U.S. Among its requirements, the EO directs Federal agencies to more strictly enforce H-1B visa laws and propose prioritizing the issuance of H-1B visas to those that are the “most-skilled or highest-paid.” U.S. Department of Education (ED) Secretary Betsy DeVos released a statement in support of the EO.

A Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) student claimed that he was sent to Mexico in February despite his active DACA status. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that he cannot promise that DACA students will not be deported.

President Trump announced that he will select a former executive for HP Inc., Holly Luong Ham, to serve as assistant secretary for management at ED.

ED announced which States have submitted State plans under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act for the spring peer review window. Two States, Maine and Massachusetts, said ED had told them that their plans were incomplete.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai sent a letter to Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), voicing his concerns about the group’s management of the application process for the E-rate and asking USAC to develop plans to change the application process by May 18.

ED issued final regulations to adjust ED’s civil monetary penalties for inflation.

ED Secretary DeVos and American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten visited the Van Wert school district in Ohio.


The Supreme Court held oral arguments in the case of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer. This case questions the constitutionality of Missouri’s restrictions on providing State aid to religious institutions (often referred to as “Blaine Amendments”). Over 30 States have similar restrictions, which have been legal barriers to the expansion of State-based private school choice related measures.


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

  • April 27: House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing on “Strengthening Accreditation to Better Protect Students and Taxpayers”