DC Digest – May 2, 2017

In Today’s Issue:
  • Omnibus Details
  • Student Loan Collection Suspended
  • Healthcare
  • Tax Discussions
  • Paris Climate Agreement
  • Deportation Pace

ALL ABOARD THE OMNIBUS

Earlier this afternoon May 2, the House Rules Committee met to discuss the $1 trillion omnibus spending bill that would fund the federal government at updated levels through the end of September. A full FY18 presidential budget is expected May 22.

Pell Me It Ain’t So

The budget deal reached Sunday night, April 29, by Congressional leaders includes an expansion of Pell grant eligibility to include low-income students attending classes all year. Top Democratic leaders said that the omnibus appropriations bill contains a provision restoring year-round Pell grants.

Repayment Choices

The budget legislation would also require the Education Department to allow all federal student loan borrowers who are consolidating their loans to have a choice in which company collects and processes their monthly payments.

“This will allow borrowers to stay with their existing servicer if they wish to, limit unnecessary disruption for borrowers, and provide another incentive for servicers to provide high-quality service to borrowers,” reads the explanatory statement from Congressional appropriators.

DEFAULTED STUDENT LOAN COLLECTION SUSPENDED

A complex legal battle involving dozens of debt collection companies fighting over contracts with the Education Department has suspended the government’s ability to collect defaulted student loans, the Trump administration disclosed in a court filing on Monday night.

TAX TEAM

House Ways and Means Republicans continue their two-day huddle on Capitol Hill to discuss overhauling the tax code and President Trump’s tax reform outline. Today’s May 2 session will last all day.

One-Pager

WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS

Trump administration lawyers are slated to meet today to talk about the legal implications of staying in the Paris climate change agreement. Lawyers from the White House, National Security Council, State Department and Justice Department are expected to attend.

DEPORTATIONS COOL DOWN

ICE statistics obtained by CNN indicate that the pace of deportations thus far under the Trump administration is slower than “even the last two years of [Trump’s] predecessor, when then-President Barack Obama ordered his agencies to use more discretion when it came to deporting undocumented immigrants, focusing specifically on criminals…. From Inauguration Day until this week, ICE removed 54,564 individuals, including 30,667 convicted criminals and 23,897 non-criminals, according to the data shared with CNN.”

Downward Trends