education

Sen. Bernie Sanders bill would forgive all college debt
Sanders plan ups the ante on Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s plan to cancel student debt for 95 percent

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders will unveil his plan to cancel out debt for all who are paying for student loans. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Bernie Sanders touted new legislation Monday to zero out student debt for millions of borrowers.

The proposal — the College For All Act — would relieve the debt of all borrowers and would be paid for by a series of taxes on Wall Street transactions. States would ensure that students can attend public colleges without paying tuition or fees, in exchange for $48 billion per year in federal funding.

Education Department investigating Duke-UNC event for ‘anti-semitic rhetoric’
Duke-UNC Middle East studies consortium that hosted event slated to receive $235,000 per year over next four years

Rep. George Holding, R-N.C., received a letter this week from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos saying the department will "examine" alleged anti-semitic rhetoric at a federally subsidized Middle East studies event at the University of North Carolina's Chapel Hill campus. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Department of Education plans to investigate a Middle East studies event hosted by Duke University and the University of North Carolina in which a Palestinian guest performer appeared to lead the attendants in anti-semitic rhetoric.

The Duke-UNC consortium on Middle East studies used $5,000 of federal grant money from DOE for the event, the News and Observer in Raleigh reported at the time.

Warren and Clyburn team up on effort to cancel student loan debts for 95 percent of borrowers
Legislation to be introduced in the weeks ahead

House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn is leading the House effort to cancel student loan debts. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren will be joining House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn in an aggressive effort to cancel student loan debt.

“For far too many students and families, the cost of higher education has meant daunting debt and a lifetime of student loan repayments,” Clyburn, a South Carolina Democrat, said.

Democrats’ Spending Bill Strategy
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 113

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., says he'd like to have all 12 spending bills done by the end of June. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats are packaging spending bills with the aim of completing all 12 by the end of the month, a goal that is likely to generate a lot of policy debates and amendments, explains Jennifer Shutt in this episode of the CQ Budget podcast. The first package contains five bills including the two largest, Defense and Labor-HHS-Education.

Kamala Harris to push pay hikes for public defenders
California Democrat wants to bring parity with prosecutors

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is proposing improvements for public defenders. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Kamala Harris is set to unveil a new effort Wednesday to boost the pay of public defenders, as part of an effort to improve legal services.

Under a bill that the California Democrat — and 2020 White House hopeful — is set to introduce, there would be new limits on the workload for lawyers working full-time as public defenders, and a path to bring defenders’ pay in line what what is earned by prosecutors.

Bill making sure university presidents know about alleged sexual abuse introduced
The effort led by members from Michigan following scandal at Michigan State

Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., is among the lead sponsors of the new legislation, known as the ALERT Act, which effectively mandates that university presidents cannot claim ignorance in Title IX cases. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There’s a new push for legislation to effectively mandate that university presidents cannot claim ignorance when allegations of sexual assault are made against their employees.

A bill being introduced in both the House and the Senate would require colleges and universities annually certify that top officials, including at least one trustee, have reviewed all of the sexual assault allegations if they want to keep getting federal funding.

‘Anti-semitic rhetoric’ at Duke-UNC event prompts Rep. Holding to ask for federal probe
Holding argued in his letter to the DOE that the event program contained a list of speakers with a clear “anti-Israel bias.”

Rep. George Holding, R-N.C., asked the Department of Education to probe “anti-Semitic rhetoric” at a joint Duke-UNC conference on the conflict in Gaza. (By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. George Holding has asked the Department of Education to investigate whether a joint conference on Middle East studies by Duke University and the University of North Carolina that allegedly contained “anti-semitic rhetoric” should be the basis for pulling federal funding from a consortium of university foreign language and studies programs.

In a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Holding criticized the “Conflict Over Gaza: People, Politics, and Possibilities” conference in March in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where he says he saw “reports of severe anti-Israeli bias and anti-Semitic rhetoric at a taxpayer-funded conference.”

Committee had broken voting rules for years, gets scolding
Lawmakers were allowed to add to tally after voting closed in the House Education and Labor Committee

House Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. Scott, D-Va., and ranking member Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., are seen during a business meeting in the Rayburn Building on Jan. 29. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 10:43 p.m. | The House Education and Labor Committee was forced to change a longtime voting practice after the House parliamentarian said what the panel was doing violated House rules.

Since roughly 2007 — extending to when both Republicans and Democrats controlled the committee — it had allowed members who missed votes to add their names to markup tallies after the votes had concluded, as long as the added votes did not change the outcome.

Library of Congress aims for ambitious transformation
Three projects will cost $60 million in public and private dollars

The Library of Congress has an ambitious plan to overhaul the visitor experience. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Library of Congress is preparing a massive overhaul of the Capitol Hill flagship Thomas Jefferson Building funded through a private-public partnership that aims to “transform the visitor experience” of the library and highlight “treasures” from the massive collection.

Librarian of Congress Carla D. Hayden unveiled renderings of the proposed changes to lawmakers in March, along with a progress report on funding efforts. The project includes an “enhanced orientation experience” to welcome visitors to the library and a youth center.

Trump administration’s Special Olympics cuts never had a chance
Senate’s top Education appropriator was at Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi last week

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been under pressure over an administration proposal to cut funding for the Special Olympics. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump administration’s proposal to cut funding for the Special Olympics will not happen.

In reality, the cuts never had a chance, even before Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday faced questions and criticism from a House Appropriations subcommittee about her department’s fiscal 2020 budget request to cut all funding from the organization.