Your Friends on the Hill

By The New England Council

DC Shuttle …

New Democratic Members of House Education Committee Announced. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that Democrats selected 14 new members of the House Committee on Education and Labor. The new members are Josh Harder (D-CA), Jahana Hayes (D-CT), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Susie Lee (D-NV), Andy Levin (D-MI), Lucy McBath (D-GA), Joseph D. Morelle (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Kim Schrier (D-WA), Donna E. Shalala, D-FL), Haley Stevens (D-MI), David Trone (D-MD), Lauren Underwood (D-IL) and Susan Wild (D-PA).

New England Delegation Committee Assignments. As the 116th Congress begins to come together, committee assignments for the next two years are coming more into focus. Below is a list of committee assignments for the New England delegation to date (new members names appear in italics)

Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) Agriculture; Appropriations
Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) Armed Services
Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH) Transportation and Infrastructure; Veterans’ Affairs
Rep. Ann Kuster (D-NH) Agriculture; Energy and Commerce
Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) Ways and Means (Chair)
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) Rules (Chair)
Rep. Lori Trahan (D-MA) Armed Services
Rep. William Keating (D-MA) Armed Services; Homeland Security
Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) Financial Services
Rep. Joseph Kennedy (D-MA) Energy and Commerce
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) Armed Services; Budget
Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) Transportation & Infrastructure; Financial Services; Oversight & Reform
Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) Appropriations
Rep. John Larson (D-CT) Ways and Means
Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-CT) Agriculture; Education and Labor
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) Appropriations
Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) Financial Services; Intelligence
Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) Armed Services; Education and Labor
Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) Foreign Affairs; Judiciary
Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) Armed Services; Homeland Security
Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) Energy and Commerce; Intelligence

Short Extension of Title IX Proposal Comment Period. The Trump administration is extending the deadline for public input on its Title IX proposal. The website for commenting on the proposal was unavailable last week, Politico reports. Inside Higher Ed has more.

House Passes Disaster Relief Funding for Schools. The House approved, 237 to 187, a disaster aid package that includes $165 million for schools and colleges affected by storms, fires and other natural disasters in 2018. It is not expected to be considered in the Senate, The Hill reports. The bill would provide $12.1 billion in disaster aid and reopen the government through Feb. 8. The package, H.R. 268, includes an additional $165 million in disaster aid for the Education Department for the 2019 fiscal year. The extra funding would help schools and colleges that were affected by disasters in 2018 including hurricanes, California wildfires, the earthquake in Anchorage and volcanic eruptions in Hawaii. Republican leaders have signaled that they want to address disaster aid as part of a broader spending deal.

VA Threatens California Regulators over GI Bill Authority. The Veterans Admiration (VA) is considering punishing California regulators over their decision on a large for-profit college seeking approval for funding under the GI Bill. The Department of Veterans Affairs notified California officials earlier this month that it is considering taking away power from the state’s veterans education agency after the California agency in December did not approve an effort by Ashford University to obtain approval in California. State officials said they declined to act on Ashford’s application because California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has accused the school of defrauding students as part of an ongoing lawsuit. The VA says California’s decision violates its contract to serve as a gatekeeper of GI Bill benefits.

Democrats Write DeVos About Student Loan Servicing During Shutdown. A group of 71 House Democrats wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos calling on the Education Department to “proactively” reach out to help federal employees who have student loans and are affected by the partial shutdown. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), one of the top Democrats on the House Education and Labor Committee, led the letter. In the letter lawmakers “urge the Department of Education to do all it can to direct student loan servicers to proactively reach out to federal employees to provide information about how to manage their student loan debt.”

Requiring Climate Change Education. The Associated Press reports that Connecticut is considering requiring schools to teach climate change.

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 Jan. 22, 2019. For more information, please visit: www.newenglandcouncil.com.

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