DC Digest – May 9, 2017

In Today’s Issue:
  • Omnibus Signed
  • DOE Funding Honored
  • Travel Ban Appeal
  • Student Loan Collection

TRUMP SIGNS OMNIBUS

Friday, May 5, President Trump signed into law the FY17 Consolidated Omnibus Appropriations bill (H.R. 244), which incorporates 11 out of 12 FY17 appropriations bills (Military Construction-Veterans Affairs was enacted earlier).

The newly enacted FY17 omnibus appropriations bill increases funding for several research and higher education programs, including a $2-billion increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and restoration of the year-round Pell Grant.

Implications for Higher Ed 

DOE TO HONOR “ALL” FUNDING COMMITMENTS

The Department of Energy (DOE) sent a memorandum to DOE program offices on May 4 stating that the agency “will honor all commitments for funds previously obligated for grants and cooperative agreements,” reports E&E Daily. A DOE spokeswoman said that included funding agreements for the entire agency, not just the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), according to the story.

DOE in the Headlights

4TH CIRCUIT HEARS TRAVEL BAN APPEAL

The full bench of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals hears arguments yesterday, May 8 in an appeal over a judge’s decision to block parts of President Trump’s revised travel ban, which halts temporarily the issuance of new visas to people from six majority-Muslim nations and suspends the refugee resettlement program.

A federal judge in Hawaii blocked implementation of the reworked ban nationwide on March 16, just before the policy was set to go into effect. Later that day, a federal judge in Greenbelt, Md., blocked the part of the ban that dealt with issuing visas to people from the six countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Circuit Breaker

ED DEPARTMENT CONTINUES WITH STUDENT LOAN REFORM

The Trump administration has signaled it will move ahead with an Obama-era plan to select a loan servicing company to build a new streamlined platform to collect all federal direct student loans to make it easier for students to make monthly payments.

The Loan Ranger

PELL ME MORE 

The Trump administration has “guaranteed” that its 2018 budget proposal will include funding for year-round Pell grants, the head of a group of historically black colleges told POLITICO this morning, May 9.