DC Digest – March 8, 2019


The DC Digest
Duke Government Relations
In Today’s Issue: 
  • Congress
    • FY2020 Budget Process Starts Next Week
    • Hoyer Wants to Pass Appropriations Bills on Time
    • Dems Unveil Student Loan Ombudsman Bill
    • Dems Unveil Net Neutrality Bills
    • House Passes Voting Reform Bill
  • Salary Demographic Reporting Requirement Reinstated
  • Coalition Encourages Confirmation DOE Nominee
  • Trump Mulls E.O. on Universities
  • OLV Campaign Female Innovators
  • Upcoming Hearings

FY 2020 Budget Process Begins Next Week
The Administration is expected to release initial details of its FY 2020 budget early next week. Preliminary reports of 5 percent reduction to the domestic discretionary budget has already been met with resistance on Capitol Hill. Various congressional committees have scheduled hearings on the budget request next week and the leaders of the Senate and House Budget Committees have set the dates for their respective markups of the FY2020 budget resolution. The Office of Government Relations will provide a summary of the FY 2020 budget request once details have been made public.
House Majority Leader Wants to Pass Appropriations Bills on Time
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) says the House Budget Committee will pass all of its appropriations bills by June 30. Hoyer also pushed for quick action on a budget caps deal and the debt limit.  

House Passes Voting Reform Bill
The House passed a wide-ranging bill on voter reform, today, March 8. The bill would mandate campuses appoint “campus vote coordinators” responsible for helping students register to vote and create competitive grants for colleges that sponsor large on-campus voter mobilization efforts and invite candidates to speak on campus. The bill is unlikely to go far in the Senate. 

Dems Unveil Student Loan Ombudsman Bill
Sens. Tom Udall (D-NM), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) have unveiled a new bill to re-establish agreements between the Education Department and CFPB, originally terminated by the Trump administration, that require the CFPB director to “provide adequate staffing levels” for the ombudsman “to carry out the functions and duties of that office.”

Dems Unveil Net Neutrality Bills
Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate have introduced bills to restore and codify the Federal Communications Commission’s 2015 Open Internet Order commonly known as “net neutrality,” which would repeal the FCC’s 2017 Restoring Internet Freedom Order.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied an Office of Management and Budget position on an Obama-era change that mandated businesses with 100 or more employees be required to submit pay data to the EEOC broken down by race, ethnicity and gender.

The Energy Sciences Coalition, of which Duke is a member, sent a letter to Senate leadership encouraging them to confirm Dr. Christopher Fall as director of the Department of Energy Office of Science.
President Trump has mulled signing an Executive Order relating to a variety of alleged issues at U.S. colleges and universities ranging from free speech to student loan risk sharing. Few details have emerged. Duke Government Relations is monitoring the situation closely.
Possible E.O.
Duke’s Office of Licensing and Ventures is celebrating International Women’s Day with a campaign highlighting female inventors and entrepreneurs at Duke, several of whom received federal funding.

Tuesday, March 12

— The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has scheduled a 10 a.m. hearing on “Simplifying the Free Application for Federal Student Aid” as part of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act at 10:00am.

— The House Energy and Commerce Communications & Technology Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the legislation, entitled “Legislating to Safeguard the Free and Open Internet” at 10:00am.

— The House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on “The Fiscal Year 2020 HHS Budget” at 12:00pm.

— Senate Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities holds a hearing on “Artificial Intelligence Initiatives within the Department of Defense” at 2:30pm.

Wednesday, March 13
— The House Education and Labor Committee has scheduled a hearing on “Student Centered Reforms to Bring Higher Education within Reach” that looks at college costs. It’s at 10:15am.

— The House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies will hold a hearing titled “Department of Health and Human Services Budget Request for FY 2020” at 2:00pm.
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