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Week of March 19, 2018

  • This week, both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are in session for legislative business. Both chambers are expected to consider an Omnibus Appropriations package, which would provide discretionary funding for all federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education, for the remaining six months of fiscal year 2018.

  • Monday is the deadline for Members of Congress and members of the public to submit programmatic and language submissions for consideration in the fiscal year 2019 House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act.

  • On Tuesday and Wednesday, all day, the Federal Reserve holds a two-day meeting of its Federal Open Market Committee. The minutes for each regularly scheduled meeting of the committee, which include a description of economic and financial conditions, are made available three weeks after its policy decisions are posted in the Federal Reserve Board’s Annual Report.

  • On Tuesday through Thursday, all day, the College Savings Foundation holds its 2018 Conference in Phoenix, AZ. The conference will provide an environment for information sharing and discussion on the growth of 529 plans since they were introduced 20 years ago, new developments in that time and a prospective look at 20 years in the future for 529 plans and the college experience. It will explore substantive content, what’s new with program managers, state programs for low and moderate-income savers, and provide an update on the implementation of ABLE. Session topics include: “Updates on Federal 529 Legislation;” “Increasing Return on Investment in Higher Education: What Can Be done to Help Parents and Students;” Emerging Trends in College Financing;” and “529 Plan Regulatory Updates.” For details and to register, visit the event website.

  • On Tuesday at 10:00 a.m., the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education holds a hearing on the U.S. Department of Education’s budget request for fiscal year 2019. The sole witness will be: The Honorable Betsy DeVos, Secretary, U.S. Department of Education. The hearing will be livestreamed on the committee’s website.

  • On Tuesday at 2:00 p.m., NCHER holds its Monthly Membership Call, which will provide a summary of the February 27, 2018 call of the Board of Directors; a summary and updates on major items being worked on by our committees, caucuses, and working groups; and a Washington Update, including recent legislative and regulatory actions by Congress, the White House, the Department of Education, the Department of Treasury, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Federal Communications Commission. Note: The call-in number has been circulated to each organization’s primary point of contact.

  •  On Tuesday at 2:00 p.m., Higher Education Financial Wellness hosts a free webinar titled, “Improving the User Experience in Your Financial Wellness Programming.” A collaboration through multiple offices at Indiana University has led to a student cost calculator that both helps families estimate the total cost of college and encourages behavior changes to lessen the cost. During this webinar, presenters Kate Wehner and Phil Schuman from Indiana University will explain the features of the calculator and teach how it maximizes user experience and how institutions can implement a similar initiative. For details and to register, click here.

  • On Wednesday through Friday, all day, The Bond Buyer and BDA host the National Municipal Bond Summit in Miami, FL. The Summit is the industry’s premier annual gathering offering the market’s leaders the opportunity to meet and network with senior issuers, state and federal officials, as well as transaction participants from across the country. Sessions topics include: “Tax Reform Implementation: Municipal Outcomes;” “Conducting Public Finance Post Tax Reform: Opportunities;” and “Pending Regulatory Developments.” For details, visit the event website.

  • On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the House Financial Services Committee meets in executive session to consider a number of measures, including H.R. 5082, the Practice of Law Technical Clarification Act, which would amend the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to exclude law firms and licensed attorneys who are engaged in activities related to legal proceedings from the definition of a debt collector and to amend the Consumer Financial protection Act to prevent the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from exercising supervisory or enforcement authority with respect to attorneys when undertaking actions related to legal proceedings.

  • On Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., the Senate Budget Committee holds a hearing entitled, “The Economic Report of the President.” The sole witness will be The Honorable Kevin Hassett, Chairman, White House Council of Economic Advisers. The hearing will be livestreamed on the committee’s website.

  • On Thursday starting at 9:30 a.m., the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) holds an open meeting to review a number of important issues. The commission’s agenda includes a further notice of proposed rulemaking to “address the problem of unwanted calls to reassigned numbers.”

  • On Friday at 9:30 a.m., the FCC and Federal Trade Commission host a joint policy forum titled, “Fighting the Scourge of Illegal Robocalls.” The forum will discuss past, current, and potential future regulatory action to protect consumers and empower telephone service providers to block illegal robocalls. It will include an in-depth discussion of recent policy changes and enforcement actions as well as the agencies’ efforts to encourage private sector technological solutions. The event will be livestreamed on the FCC’s website.
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