Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – May 15, 2017

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



House Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) issued a statement about Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) following President Trump’s signing statement on the fiscal year (FY) 2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill, in which he discussed the HBCU Capital Financing program.

The House Education and the Workforce Committee will markup H.R. 2353, “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act” on Wednesday, May 17.

The House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources will hold a hearing entitled “Opportunities for Youth and Young Adults to Break the Cycle of Poverty” on Wednesday, May 17. Witnesses have yet to be announced.


President Trump’s signing statement for the FY2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill included language about treating provisions that allocate benefits on the basis of race, ethnicity and gender – including the HBCUs Capital Financial program – in a manner consistent with the requirement to afford equal protection of the laws.

Following his signing statement, President Trump released a statement voicing his support for and commitment to HBCUs. Additionally, U.S. Department of Education (ED) Secretary Betsy DeVos released a statement voicing her support for HBCUs.

ED Secretary DeVos delivered the commencement address for the graduating class at Bethune-Cookman University, an HBCU located in Florida. Secretary DeVos released a statement on the commencement ceremony.

President Trump will deliver Liberty University’s 2017 commencement address on Saturday, May 13.

President Trump signed an executive order on Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure, which directs agencies, including ED, to review education and workforce-development efforts.

ED Secretary DeVos announced that all State plans submitted for the spring deadline by 16 States and the District of Columbia under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act were found to be complete and ready for peer review. Information about States’ plans can be found here.

ED Secretary DeVos visited Salt Lake City’s Granite Technical Institute and spoke at the Arizona State University + Global Silicon Valley Summit in Salt Lake City, where she focused on school choice.

ED published, in the Federal Register, a final rule repealing the Title II Teacher Preparation regulations, pursuant to H.J.Res. 58, a Congressional Review Act resolution to repeal the those regulations.


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

  • May 17: House Education and the Workforce Committee markup of H.R. 2353, “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act”