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
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:
If a veteran is living in a state while going to school;
would only be required to offer in-state tuition for school terms for
which Post-9/11 or Montgomery GI Bill benefits are being used to pay for
attendance at the public institution;
States would have the option of requiring the veteran to demonstrate an intent to establish residency in that state;
in-state tuition policy would only be required for the two year period
after the veteran is discharged from military service.
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)
Immigration 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.
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Created by Claudia DiMercurio (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Monday, May 20, 2013 Modified by Claudia DiMercurio (email@example.com) on Monday, May 20, 2013 Article Start Date: Monday, May 20, 2013