Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – January 8, 2018

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



Congressional leaders met with Trump Administration officials in an effort to work toward a budget deal, during which they discussed Federal spending levels, immigration and border security. There were no public announcements of any specific agreements following this meeting. Of note, the Continuing Resolution currently funding the Federal government expires on January 19.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) inspector general requesting an investigation into ED’s use of earnings data to grant partial student loan forgiveness to borrowers who were defrauded by their institutions of higher education.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has scheduled an executive session on Thursday, January 11 to consider nominations for ED and U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) positions. Nominations that are expected to be voted upon during this session include Mick Zais for ED Deputy Secretary, Kenneth Marcus for ED Civil Rights Assistant Secretary, Jim Blew for ED Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development Assistant Secretary and Patrick Pizzella for DOL Deputy Secretary.


The negotiated rulemaking committee on the borrower defense to repayment regulations will hold their second set of meetings this week. ED released a series of papers containing their proposal for new regulations in this area, which outline ED’s initial positions heading into the negotiations and will be the focus of debate in this week’s meetings.

ED provided 12 States with feedback on their State plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

ED issued a notice inviting applications for new authorities for fiscal year 2018 under the Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority.

James Lynn Woodworth has been appointed as Commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics.


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

January 11: Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Executive Session