Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – October 16, 2017

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


The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee has scheduled an Executive Session to vote on Carlos Muñiz’s nomination to serve as General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on Wednesday, October 18.

A bipartisan group of 59 senators sent a letter to HELP Committee leadership, calling on them to renew the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.

Ranking Members of the Senate HELP Committee and House Education and the Workforce Committee Patty Murray (D-WA) and Bobby Scott (D-VA), respectively, released statements in opposition to aspects of ED Secretary Betsy DeVos’ proposed priorities for the distribution of competitive grants.

Ranking Member Murray and Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) sent a letter to ED’s Inspector General, urging ED to investigate the administration and timeliness of TRiO grants following a delay in the awarding of some TRiO grants.


ED published, in the Federal Register, a “Notice of the Secretary’s Proposed Supplemental Priorities and Definitions for Discretionary Grant Programs,” which includes 11 priorities. Comments are due by November 13.

President Trump announced his principles and policies for reforming the U.S.’s immigration system, instructing departments and agencies to conduct reviews of all immigration policies and outlining reforms that “must be included as part of any legislation addressing the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients.”

U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta released a statement supporting President Trump’s immigration principles and policies.

The Washington Post reported that ED wants Purdue University to absorb the debts and liabilities of Kaplan University as a condition for approving Purdue’s acquisition of Kaplan University.

ED is expanding the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System database to include completion data for part-time and non-first-time students at every two- and four-year degree- or certificate-granting institution and to provide additional information on Pell Grant recipients at every college or university that awards Federal financial aid.

ED Secretary DeVos announced updates on ED’s hurricane relief efforts and visited two schools in Florida impacted by the recent hurricanes.


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

  • October 18: Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Executive Session Nominations, including Carlos G. Muniz nominated to be General Counsel Department of Education”