The DC Daily – February 7, 2017

 In Today’s Issue:

  • New Secretary of Education
  • Federal Budget Update
  • Immigration Executive Order Day in Court
  • Higher Ed Letters to the Administration


The Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary today after a historic tie-breaker from Vice President Mike Pence — the first time a VP has issued the tie-breaking vote on a Cabinet nominee. All Democrats opposed DeVos, along with two Republicans: Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Madam Secretary


Today was the official deadline for the White House to submit its fiscal year 2018 budget to Congress, but no budget was received. It is rare for a first-year president to submit a budget proposal on time. (Obama’s first budget overview was submitted on February 26, 2009.) Presidents typically offer a ‘lite’ budget to preview their plans. Budget experts wonder if President Trump may skip the ‘skinny’ budget preview altogether.

Trump aides said the budget would be released mid- to late-February. However, the Senate confirmation vote on Trump’s pick to head the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Mick Mulvaney has been delayed. It is unlikely that the Administration will be able to assemble a budget without a sitting OMB Director.

If that is the case, the President could issue an Executive Order to lay out priorities without detailing how items would actually be funded.


A three-judge panel on the 9th Circuit Court will hear oral arguments tonight, February 7, on whether to restore President Trump’s immigration Executive Order. The hearing, which will be conducted by telephone at 6 p.m. Eastern (and livestreamed), is to review the order by a district court judge in Seattle to put Trump’s directive on hold.

The debate will not center on the constitutionality of the Executive Order itself, but rather on the Seattle Judge’s ruling against the Order.

Audio Livestream Here


Seeing as a San Francisco Appeals Court declined the Department of Justice’s request to set aside the Seattle judge’s ruling, constitutional experts anticipate this issue will likely end up at the Supreme Court in the coming months.

Highest in the Land


Universities around the country are streamlining their efforts to speak out on the immigration Executive Order.

  • AAU Statement: On January 28, AAU issued a statement urging a quick end to the order.
  • AAU Universities’ Statements: On the AAU website, you will find individual statements issued by member universities, beginning January 28.
  • Higher Education Associations’ Letter led by ACE: Fifty-one higher education associations, including AAU, on January 31, sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John F. Kelly on the importance of maintaining the U.S. as a destination of choice for international students and scholars.
  • Multi-Organizational Letter Led by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS): On on January 31 a group of 171 scientific societies, higher education associations, and universities sent a letter to President Trump urging him to rescind the Executive Order.
  • President Brodhead’s Letter: On February 2 Duke University President Richard Brodhead penned a call for changes to the immigration Executive Order.
  • University Presidents’ Letter: On February 2 Duke University joined 48 other universities in signing a letter to President Trump urging him to rescind the Executive Order.
  • ACE-led Community Letter to DHS: On February 3 a group of 598 college and university presidents and several higher education associations, including the AAU, sent a letter to DHS Secretary Kelly expressing concern about the President’s Executive Order.