Susan A Davis

House Democrats advance federal student aid overhaul
Bill would expand grants, push back on Trump's for-profit schools agenda

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with Rep. Bobby Scott, chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee. His panel approved a sweeping bill that would seek to address student debt, among other higher education programs. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Education and Labor Committee on Thursday voted 28-22 to approve a massive overhaul of federal student loans and other higher education programs that they touted as an overdue move to address the costs of higher education. 

The 1,165-page measure earned no Republican support at the end of a markup that began Tuesday. Among numerous other provisions, it would expand Pell Grants, tweak the Federal Work-Study Program, direct more aid to minority-serving institutions, emphasize campus safety and set several new requirements designed to impose tougher standards on for-profit colleges. It would also use federal aid to encourage states to offer tuition-free community college educations. 

House Democrats start work on student aid measure
Republicans argue bill would limit flexibility

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, touted the Democrats' college costs bill at a press conference on Oct. 15, 2019 in the Capitol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Democratic-led House Education and Labor Committee on Tuesday began debate on a sweeping overhaul of federal student loans and other higher education programs, but without bipartisan support. 

Among numerous other provisions, the 1,165-page bill would expand Pell Grants, tweak the Federal Work-Study Program, direct more aid to minority-serving institutions, emphasize campus safety, and set several new requirements designed to hold institutions — particularly for-profit colleges — accountable.

California Democratic Rep. Susan Davis announces retirement
Davis is the third House Democrat to decide against reelection this cycle

California Rep. Susan A. Davis is not running for reelection. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Rep. Susan A. Davis announced Wednesday that she is not running for reelection, opening up a safe Democratic seat in San Diego. 

Davis, who was first elected in 2000, is the third House Democrat to retire so far this cycle.

Hearing on Congressional Research Service zeroes in on diversity issue
Rare look inside CRS at House Administration Committee

Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, said the Congressional Research Service should have a more diverse staff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A rare public hearing on Thursday examining the Congressional Research Service revealed concerns about its lack of diversity in its leadership ranks, as members questioned its leader about hiring practices.

At Thursday’s House Administration Committee, Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., asked CRS Director Mary B. Mazanec about the staff closest to her, specifically if any were a person of color, which he defined as “African American, Latino, Asian American, Pacific Islander.” Mazanec said she had “about 12 direct reports,” and only one of them was a person of color.

California Democrats brand attack by Duncan Hunter campaign ‘racist’
Republican renewed effort to tar challenger Campa-Najjar as ‘national security threat’

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., faces condemnation from two Democratic members of the California delegation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A California lawmaker ripped Rep. Duncan Hunter for relying on a “racist” campaign strategy by repeatedly describing his challenger, who has Palestinian heritage, as a “national security threat.”

Democrat Rep. Mike Levin called on the Hunter campaign to stop relying on anti-Muslim conspiracy theories to undercut his challenger in the 2020 race, Ammar Campa-Najjar.

Guidance for paying House interns adopted, as application deadlines fly by

House Administration Committee Chair Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., noted that she began her congressional career as an intern. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House offices now have guidance, however brief, on how to implement paid internships in their offices with the inaugural funding provided specifically for that purpose.

The House Administration Committee approved a resolution Tuesday afternoon by voice vote that outlines “interim regulations governing House paid internships.” 

Appropriators scold agency for poor student loan oversight
Aftershocks of inspector general report reach Congress

Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., urged student loan servicers and the FSA to remember that people’s livelihoods are at stake. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Education Department has to do a better job of holding accountable the companies that service student loans and don’t always do what’s best for borrowers, House appropriators said Wednesday.

The hearing by the House Appropriations Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee comes after the Education Department inspector general issued a report last month that, among other things, said the Federal Student Aid program was inadequately overseeing loan servicers, who violated rules that prevented borrowers from choosing favorable repayment plans or even paying the correct monthly amounts.

Congress Relatively Mum on Raging California Camp Fire
A list of missing people spiked to more than 600 names Thursday

Few members of Congress outside of the California delegation have weighed in on the Camp Fire raging north of Sacramento. Years of drought have created a “tinderbox” in the Golden State, according to NASA. (NASA)

Despite a dramatic spike in the number of people unaccounted for as the historically deadly Camp Fire rages in northern California, members of Congress have been relatively quiet on the natural disaster. 

A list of missing people ballooned from 130 names to nearly 300 names within hours Wednesday, the Mercury News reported, and reached more than 600 names by late Thursday. Sixty-three people have died, and another three have died in a simultaneous blaze in Southern California. 

Frankel, Brooks Push for Girls Education on International Day of the Girl
Bipartisan effort aims to help girls around the world stay in school

Rep. Susan W. Brooks, R-Ind., left, and Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., right, co-chair the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In their travels around the world, Reps. Lois Frankel and Susan W. Brooks have seen firsthand the challenges girls face when it comes to getting an education. So to mark the International Day of the Girl, the two lawmakers are introducing legislation to do something about it. 

The bipartisan effort, known as the Keeping Girls in School Act, would ensure the U.S. Agency for International Development spends allocated money to keep girls in school and get more of them into secondary schools.

Amy McGrath Wins Democratic Nod in Kentucky
Marine veteran will take on GOP Rep. Andy Barr in November

Marine veteran Amy McGrath, here at a conference in Los Angeles in February, won the Democratic nomination in Kentucky’s 6th District. (Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for MAKERS file photo)

Marine veteran Amy McGrath won the Democratic nomination in Kentucky’s 6th District on Tuesday and will take on Republican Rep. Andy Barr in November. 

With 95 percent of precincts reporting, McGrath led Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, 49 percent to 41 percent, when The Associated Press called the race.