A quick look back at the news from last week. Compiled by Penn Hill Group.
The House Appropriations Committee marked up the fiscal year (FY) 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) appropriations bill, which passed on a party-line vote. Overall, the bill cuts U.S. Department of Education (ED) spending by $2.4 billion and cuts U.S. Department of Labor spending by $1.3 billion compared to FY2017.
House Republican leadership is no longer considering moving an omnibus appropriations bill and is instead considering moving a package of appropriations bills that would include U.S. Department of Defense, Military Construction and other security-related bills.
The House Budget Committee introduced and marked up their FY2018 budget resolution. The resolution includes reconciliation instructions calling on other House Committees to pass legislation producing $203 billion in mandatory savings in total. Of this total, the resolution instructs the House Education and the Workforce Committee to produce $20 billion in savings over 10 years. The resolution passed on a party-line vote.
House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) hosted a bipartisan panel discussion on opportunity youth employment.
Ranking Member Scott and 121 House Democrats sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee expressing opposition to the proposed rescission of $3.3 billion in previously appropriated Pell Grant funding in the FY2018 LHHS appropriations bill.
Ranking Member Scott and 114 House Democrats sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee expressing opposition to the elimination of the of the Supporting Effective Instruction State Grant Program (Title II-A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) in the FY2018 LHHS appropriations bill.
The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee passed the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 (H.R. 3218), which expands the GI bill to offer a lifetime window for college tuition assistance.
The House Education and the Workforce Committee held a hearing to explore State and local reform efforts in their implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Committee Republicans and Democrats released statements on their priorities.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that the Senate would “defer consideration” of the Senate Republican’s updated version of their bill to modify the Affordable Care Act (ACA) following news that Senator John McCain (R-AZ) would be absent due to surgery. Last Monday, Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Mike Lee (R-UT) announced that they would not vote to begin debate on the Senate Republican’s healthcare bill, joining Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Rand Paul (R-KY) in opposition. Senator McConnell then announced that the Senate would consider a bill to repeal the ACA after a two-year delay. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Susan Collins announced that they would not vote to consider a repeal-only bill. Nonetheless, the Senate is expected to begin the process of attempting to consider a version of the Senate’s ACA replacement legislation (with a possible amendment to completely repeal the ACA) this week.
Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released a statement supporting the nominations of Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel to serve on the National Labor Relations Board.
Senate HELP Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) sent a letter the ED Secretary Betsy DeVos calling for the removal of Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Candice Jackson from her position following the comments she made regarding campus sexual assault survivors.
Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) also sent a letter to ED Secretary DeVos calling for the removal of Acting Assistant Secretary Jackson from her position.
ED Secretary DeVos stated that “Candice is a valuable part of the Administration and an unwavering advocate for the civil rights of all students.”
The Office of Management and Budget announced that it was pulling or suspending 860 pending regulations as part of the Administration’s larger unified agenda aimed at easing Federal restrictions on the private sector.
The White House announced that they support the Federal Communications Commission Chairman’s efforts to review and consider rolling back “net neutrality” policies.
ED Secretary DeVos delivered remarks at the Office of Special Education Programs Leadership Conference.
ED Secretary DeVos delivered remarks at the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council.
Penn Hill Group plans to provide clients with summaries of the following events next week:
- July 26: House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee Hearing: “Expanding Options for Employers and Workers Through Earn-and-Learn Opportunities”
- July 26: House Committee on Science, Space, & Technology Subcommittee Hearing: “STEM and Computer Science Education: Preparing the 21st Century Workforce”