Student Loans

Senate GOP to Delay Corporate Tax Cut, Repeal ‘SALT’ Deduction
Finance Committee releases plan highlights

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven at a news conference in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 5:25 p.m. | Senate Republicans proposed Thursday to delay a corporate tax cut for one year and fully repeal the deduction for state and local taxes, taking a different approach than the House on overhauling the tax code.

The plan highlights released by the Senate Finance Committee show shared goals with the House bill advanced by the Ways and Committee on Thursday. Both would provide tax cuts at all income levels, slash the corporate rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, and expand benefits for families with children. For multinational companies, the proposals would shift to a new territorial tax regime.

McConnell Seeks Exception to Rules for School
Kentucky Republican wants to keep federal funding for home-state college

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s amendment would provide flexibility on default rates to schools in economically depressed regions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is asking the Education Department to skirt its rules and make an exception to provide federal dollars to a college in his home state — even though a high percentage of its graduates defaulted on their students loans for the last three years.

McConnell’s move is part of a larger debate about the criteria to determine whether a college should receive federal funding or be cut off. Currently, the Education Department uses data on what is known as the cohort default rate — or how many of a college’s graduates default on their loans — to decide whether the school is a good investment for taxpayer money.

Student Loan Program About to Expire
Legislation to extend it blocked

Sen. Lamar Alexander blocked legislation to extend a college student loan program with bipartisan support. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A college student loan program with bipartisan support will expire Saturday after key Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander blocked legislation to extend it.

The need-based program will lapse midnight Saturday, depriving tens of thousands of college students of a source of financial aid that is a mix of federal dollars and college contributions.

Gill Seeks to Run Against Davis in Sixth Bid for House
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try try, try, try again

Dr. David Gill narrowly lost to Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., in the second-closest congressional race in 2012. (David Gill Congress)

Dr. David Gill, who has run unsuccessfully for Congress five times announced Tuesday that he’ll make a sixth try against Rep. Rodney Davis.

Gill, an emergency medicine physician, is seeking the Democratic nomination in Illinois’ 13th District against Republican Rep. Rodney Davis.

The Quieter Assault Against Obamacare
Democrats fault GOP tactic for problems

Some supporters of former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law blame a Republican tactic as partly responsible for many of the failures in the law that the GOP says it must fix. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

The Republican drive to deliver a death blow to President Barack Obama’s health care law has overshadowed a quieter assault using annual government funding bills that’s gone on for years. 

It’s not as glamorous or high-decibel as the news conferences and floor debates surrounding the repeal of the law, but it certainly has proved controversial. What’s more, the law’s supporters see this GOP tactic as partly responsible for many of the failures in the law that Republicans now say they must fix.

Staffer Guide: Making the Most of Capitol Hill
Insight on money and perks

One Hill perk that can't be quantified is access to and direct interaction with lawmakers. An aide is seen here consulting with Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., during a hearing on Jan. 24. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Capitol Hill is a great place to work, whether you’re just starting your career or have been staff for a while. Here are some tips on how to take advantage of your time on the Hill.

On Capitol Hill, you might not get paid as much as you might like. Aside from taking advantage of the benefits you have, here are some tips for saving money:

Opinion: Narrowing the Racial Wealth Gap
Do policies meant to address big problems aggravate an economic divide?

The incoming Trump administration and lawmakers should anticipate whether new policies will improve or aggravate wealth inequities, Shapiro and Asante-Muhammad write. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

We have a proposition for the incoming Trump administration and the new Congress and it’s not a liberal or a conservative idea. It’s just a call for pragmatism when developing new federal policies over the next four years.

For too long, even when coming together to enact laws to accomplish noble goals, Congress and previous presidents have ignored the unintended effects of “one-size-fits-all” legislation on the racial wealth divide in this country. What seems like a great idea — making college more affordable, for example — can actually feed the divide.

Shea-Porter Returns to Congress, Defeats Guinta in New Hampshire’s 1st District
Shea-Porter and Guinta faced off for the fourth straight time

Carol Shea-Porter, right, will return to Congress for the third time after beating Frank C. Guinta in their fourth matchup. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrat Carol Shea-Porter will be returning to Congress, The Associated Press projects, after defeating Republican Rep. Frank C. Guinta in New Hampshire’s 1st District.

 

Democrats Eye Debt-Free College Push in Next Congress
Lawmakers have been working for months to craft plan

New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer, left, and Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz are involved in the working group. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Election Day is still looming, but a group of Democrats has already laid plans to start the next legislative year with a proposal that would allow students to graduate college without debt.

About two dozen congressional Democrats have met for more than a year, with discussions intensifying over the last month. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has also pushed debt refinancing and free tuition at public universities and congressional Republicans are proposing student-loan tax breaks in a bid to woo millennial voters.

Reid Readies for the Home Stretch
In last months, Senate minority leader aims to link GOP colleagues to Trump

Reid, seen at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, is retiring at the end of this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

September marks the beginning of the end of Harry Reid's tenure in Congress. The Senate minority leader has four months left in office, and he's not likely to go quietly. 

“As he told me a while ago, this is going to be his last rodeo," said Reid's former spokesman Jim Manley. "I think he’s going to take it for all it’s worth.”