Oakland University
Monday, May 20, 2013

ASSCU Update

To:       AASCU Presidents, Chancellors and Government Relations staff
From:   Ed Elmendorf, Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Policy Analysis
            Makese Motley, Assistant Director of Federal Relations and Policy Analysis
Re:       Federal Policy Update
Date:    May 17, 2013

Student Loan Interest Rate

The House Education and Workforce Committee passed the Smarter Solutions for Students Act (H.R. 1911) Thursday, a bill that would prevent student loan interest rates from rising from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1. This bill, which was introduced by Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Workforce and Training subcommittee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), would be budget neutral and move all federal student loans to a market-based interest rate.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced the Student Loan Affordability Act of 2013 (S. 953), that would freeze need-based student loan interest rates for two years. In contrast to the House bill, the Senate legislation would provide a temporary fix and allow Congress time to develop a long-term solution to student loan interest rates. The higher education community’s response to this bill can be found here

AASCU has not taken a position on either bill, but will keep the membership informed of developments on Capitol Hill as these bills continue in the legislative process.

S. 743, The Market Place Fairness Act of 2013
The Senate passed bi-partisan legislation on May 6th allowing states to collect sales taxes on online retailers outside their borders. In addition, states would have to simplify how they collect and audit their sales tax, and provide free software to retailers to calculate owed taxes. The bill faces strong opposition in the Republican-led House of Representatives. While this bill had solid support in the Senate, there has been strong opposition in the House of Representatives. Many House Republicans view this bill as a tax increase and are urging Speaker Boehner not to bring the bill up for a vote on the House floor.

Veterans In-State Tuition
Last week the House Veterans Affairs Committee passed H.R. 357, the GI Bill Tuition Fairness Act, which would require public colleges and universities to charge in-state rates of tuition and fees to veterans participating in the Post-9/11 GI Bill. AASCU opposes this legislation.

This week Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced S. 944, the Veterans’ Educational Transition Act of 2013. The bill as currently written would require public higher education institutions to provide in-state tuition in the following circumstances:

Senate Veterans Committee will hear the bill on June 5th. AASCU has not taken a position on this bill but has been heavily engaged on this issue and will continue to monitor both bills closely. A link to AASCU’s written testimony on both bills can be found at these links. (Link 1) (Link 2)

The Senate Judiciary is continuing to markup S. 744, the Border Security Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act (more commonly known as the “Group of 8” immigration bill). Senators have filed 300 amendments on the bill, which can be found here. Our colleagues at First Focus have put together a summary of the amendments that are focused on the DREAM Act, which can be found here. Earlier this week, a bi-partisan group in the House of Representatives announced an agreement on immigration reform. It is expected that this group will release details of their agreement sometime next week. 


American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
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Phone 202-293-7070 | Fax 202-296-5819 | www.aascu.org

Created by Claudia DiMercurio (dimercur@oakland.edu) on Monday, May 20, 2013
Modified by Claudia DiMercurio (dimercur@oakland.edu) on Monday, May 20, 2013
Article Start Date: Monday, May 20, 2013