What Did I Miss in Washington? November 29-December 11, 2017
The steady stream of news emerging from the nation’s capital can be overwhelming. NACUBO highlights key actions and provides the status of top higher education business officer concerns.
Lawmakers and the Public Call to Halt Net Neutrality Vote. Nearly 30 Democratic senators and advocacy groups from a variety of sectors called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to delay a planned vote to repeal net neutrality that is scheduled for December 14. These calls come amid an ongoing controversy surrounding potentially fraudulent comments submitted to the FCC during the open comment period on net neutrality. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has stated that the vote will go forward as planned. NACUBO joined the American Council on Education (ACE) and other higher education associations to weigh in on the issue in this comment letter in August.
Broad Coalitions Responding to Tax Proposals. Since the emergence of House and Senate tax legislation that would overhaul federal tax code, NACUBO has been partnering with a number of coalitions in response. In addition to issuing our own statements and letters, NACUBO has united with other sectors, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and other groups in sending correspondence to lawmakers on issues ranging from charitable giving to tax-exempt bond financing.
Take Action on Tax Reform. Your networks can reach out directly to their members of Congress via Twitter, Facebook, and email by texting COLLEGE to 52886 or clicking here. The campaign is focused on the proposals to eliminate the Lifetime Learning Credit and the Student Loan Interest Deduction and to tax employer-provided tuition benefits as well as tuition benefits for graduate student teaching and research assistants.
ED Office of Civil Rights Nominee Begins Senate Confirmation Process. Kenneth Marcus, a former Department of Education staffer during the George W. Bush administration, underwent his first round of questioning by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on December 5 as part of the confirmation process required for the assistant secretary for Civil Rights position at the Department of Education. While some Democratic senators expressed concerns with how Marcus would potentially handle Title IX and discrimination complaints, Marcus stated that he would "work to strengthen [the Office of Civil Rights], to preserve civil rights, to seek equal justice for all; to respect the rule of law; and to promote public confidence."
DACA Litigation Reaches Supreme Court. Several states, civil rights groups, and a university suing the Trump administration over its repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to affirm a lower court’s decision requiring the government to turn over documents related to its decision-making in terminating DACA. A U.S. District Court judge in San Francisco ordered the government to turn over the documents, but the U.S. Department of Justice argued in front of the Supreme Court that this ruling was too broad and would require the administration to turn over protected and nonpublic documents. The states suing responded that “the public is entitled to know on what basis" the government "made this decision."
Earlier this year, NACUBO endorsed an effort led by ACE to send a letter to every member of Congress, urging them to pass bipartisan legislation to protect individuals enrolled in the DACA program.
What Did I Miss in Washington? November 14-November 29, 2017