Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – April 30, 2018


The House passed the Innovators to Entrepreneurs Act (H.R. 5086) by a vote of 379-16. The bill provides several updates to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program, including a requirement that the NSF develop a course to support commercialization-ready research ventures.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee voted unanimously to approve the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018. The bill would increase access to mental health services in schools and community-based settings and to substance use disorder services in underserved areas. In addition, the bill would authorize the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to address the economic and workforce impacts for communities affected by the opioid crisis through grants targeted at workforce shortages for the substance use and mental health treatment workforce, and to align job training and treatment services.

The Senate confirmed Jon Parrish Peede as the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) by unanimous consent.

Senate leaders have reached agreement to consider the nomination of Mitchell Zais to be deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (ED).  Floor debate has not yet been scheduled.

The Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee on Appropriations will accept written testimony from outside witnesses on FY2019 appropriations. The deadline to submit written testimony is Friday, June 1.


ED sent a proposal to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to delay the implementation of the State authorization rule, likely pertaining to institutions of higher education’s distance education programs.

ED’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has begun dismissing hundreds of civil rights complaints under a newly adopted protocol that focuses on multiple complaints filed by single individuals.

ED’s OCR released the 2015-16 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC).

A third Federal judge issued a decision against the Administration’s justification for ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. While the decision was stayed for 90 days, it is the first decision by a Federal judge that called for allowing new DACA enrollment in addition to renewals.


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