DC Shuttle …
U.S. Senate Debates Education Appropriations with Focus on Pell Funds.
The Senate began debate on an $857 billion spending bill for the departments of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, as well as Education and other agencies. It is the first time education appropriations had been debated on the Senate floor since 2007 and the amendment process is expected to be tedious. The bill would allocate $179 billion for labor, health and education programs. The bill includes domestic and military appropriations. Tying the two together, it is thought, would put pressure on President Trump to sign the spending measure. The administration said it’s “concerned” the bill would fund 28 “unnecessary” education programs, totaling $6 billion, that Trump had cut in his budget request. The White House said that those programs “are duplicative, narrowly focused or unable to demonstrate effectiveness.” House leadership may also bring up a vote on the military and domestic spending together in order to pressure members. There’s a difference between how the two chambers would handle Pell funding, Roll Call reports. Both chambers and the White House would fund the program at $22.5 billion in fiscal 2019, the same as the current year. To fund Pell, the House version (H.R. 6470) would tap into Pell’s remaining $7.4 billion surplus. The Senate bill (S. 3158) would add another $100 increase in the maximum award and would access an additional $39 million in mandatory fiscal 2019 Pell funds. But the Senate would also rescind $600 million from Pell surplus balances to pay for other spending in the bill. Leadership will announce the lineup for amendments this week.
Federal Commission on School Safety Holds final Meeting.
The Federal Commission on School Safety held its fifth, and final scheduled meeting at the White House. The meeting highlighted an Indiana school’s high-tech security features with a focus “on best practices for school building security, active shooter training for schools, and practitioner experience with school-based threat assessment.” The Department of Homeland Security, hosted the session. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and fellow commission members Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and HHS Secretary Alex Azar were all in attendance.
We publish the DC Shuttle each week featuring higher ed news from Washington collected by the New England Council, of which NEBHE is a member. This edition is drawn from the Higher Education Update in the Council’s Weekly Washington Report of Aug. 20, 2018. For more information, please visit: www.newenglandcouncil.com.