Wayne State University

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News and Announcements Archive

What's Happening in Washington, D.C.

May 11, 2016
United States Senator Debbie Stabenow addresses a group of Wayne State students to discuss the RED Act and college debt relief on Wednesday, February 17.

First of all, thanks so much for taking a look at our newsletter!  When someone once asked one of the Members of Congress for whom I worked why it is important to pay attention to politics, he replied “all Congress does is allocate your money, health care, housing, education and justice.  If none of those affect you or your family, don’t bother paying attention.  Otherwise, become educated and make your voice heard.”

I would like to say that there is a remote chance that Congress will address the debts that most students incur, that the Higher Education Act, three years overdue for reauthorization, will be done or that Pell Grants will get both a boost and a steady stream of funding. As you can probably tell from the acrimony from the presidential campaigns, the odds of any one of these legislative items happening is slim and none, and slim just got on the bus. The last reauthorization of the Higher Education Act – which is supposed to happen every five years – took over seven years before Congress last considered it.

The best we can hope is that Congress will approve all 12 of the annual spending provisions. This will be challenging as Congress can’t even agree to a budget resolution.  This resolution, while not having the force of law, ultimately determines the spending levels for those 12 appropriation bills. Technically, Congress is not supposed to move forward on any appropriation bill before a budget is approved, but time is running short. Due to the campaigns, caucuses and primaries, there are fewer legislative days to get these things done.

The real and significant work is really taking place in the various agencies in Washington, D.C., which is where we have placed our focus not only for Wayne State University, but for the University Research Corridor.  I will highlight some of this work in our next edition. 



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