Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – June 20, 2017

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



House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) released a statement supporting President Trump’s recently signed executive order (EO) that seeks to expand funding for apprenticeships.

House Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) released a statement on President Trump’s EO that seeks to expand funding for apprenticeships.

The House Education and the Workforce Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee held a hearing on the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Committee Republicans and Democrats released statements on the hearing.


Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released a statement supporting President Trump’s EO that seeks to expand funding for apprenticeships.

Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), along with over 150 Members of Congress, sent a letter to U.S. Department of Education (ED) Secretary Betsy DeVos voicing their concerns about ED’s recent decisions surrounding Federal student loan servicing.

Senators Warren, Murray, Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to ED Secretary DeVos requesting that she not delay the effective date of the Borrower Defense to Repayment (BDR) regulations.

The Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee held a hearing on President Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget request for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), where HHS Secretary Tom Price testified.


ED released two notices delaying the implementation of the BDR regulations and announcing their intent to conduct negotiated rulemaking to produce new regulatory versions of BDR, gainful employment (GE) and other regulatory matters starting this fall. ED also published its schedule of two public hearings, in Washington, D.C. and Dallas on July 10 and 12, respectively.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced her intent to challenge in court ED’s announced delay of the BDR.

The National Women’s Law Center filed a lawsuit against ED in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, seeking the release of information about Federal enforcement of Title IX.

President Trump signed an EO that seeks to expand funding for apprenticeships; allow for third party, including employers, quality control mechanisms for apprenticeships; promote apprenticeships at institutions of higher education and Job Corps programs; establish a task force on apprenticeships; and evaluate existing job training programs and use such evaluations to inform the Administration’s 2019 budget priorities.

ED’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) Acting Secretary Candice Jackson sent a memo to regional directors instructing OCR officials to shorten its scope when investigating civil rights claims in an effort to address them more swiftly.

The Supreme Court of the United States ordered all parties in the case involving President Trump’s travel ban EO to have their legal briefs filed by June 21, while they decide whether or not to take the case.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security released a Fact Sheet stating that the Obama Administration’s memorandum that created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will remain in effect.

U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta released a statement supporting President Trump’s EO that seeks to expand funding for apprenticeships.

Inside Higher Ed reported that ED is “taking steps to update the data feeding the College Scorecard.”

Education Week reported that Jim Blew, the director of Student Success California, a 50CAN affiliate, is a top contender for Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development Assistant Secretary at ED.

ED Secretary DeVos delivered remarks to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

ED began delivering feedback on Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) State plans, with three States, Delaware, Nevada and New Mexico, receiving feedback on information that they need to supply in order to get their plans approved.

The White House released a memo, “Expanding Apprenticeships in America,” which they delivered to Cabinet members.


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

  • June 20 Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing: “Free Speech 101: The Assault on the First Amendment on College Campuses”
  • June 22 House Education and the Workforce Committee Hearing: “Student Safety in the Job Corps Program”