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Week of July 15

  • This week, both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are in session for legislative business. However, neither chamber is expected to consider student financial aid-related legislation.

  • Today and tomorrow, all-day, the Higher Education Financial Wellness Summit will be held in Bloomington, IN. The Summit provides a venue for institutions associated with higher education to learn and share information vital to a successful financial wellness program. This year, the conference is expanding its offerings to student attendees. For details and to register, visit the event website.

  • On Monday at 4:15 p.m., the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and Third Way hold an event titled, “Promoting Accountability in Higher Education: Finding Common Ground.” Participants include: Sandy Baum, Nonresident Fellow, Center on Education Data and Policy, Urban Institute; Lanae Erickson, Senior Vice President for Social Policy and Politics, Third Way; Dr. Fredrick Hess, Resident Scholar and Director of Education Policy Studies, AEI; Emily Slack, Senior Advisor, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development, U.S. Department of Education; and Delece Smith-Barrow, Senior Editor for Higher Education, The Hechinger Report. To register or view the event, visit the AEI Website.
  •  On Tuesday at 10:00 a.m., the House Financial Services Committee meets in executive session to consider the following bills:

    o   H.R. 3621, the Student Borrower Credit Improvement Act, introduced by Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), which would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to prohibit credit reporting agencies from providing a consumer report related to a delinquency or default of a private education loan of a borrower that has rehabilitated his or her loan by making nine on-time monthly payments during a period of 10 consecutive months.

    o   H.R. 3629, the Clarity in Credit Score Formation Act, introduced by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA), which would authorize the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to issue final regulations regarding the creation, maintenance, and purchasing of credit scoring models used in making credit decisions.

    o   H.R. ___, the Accurate Access to Credit Information Act, introduced by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), which would require the establishment of an online consumer portal landing page for consumer access to credit reporting information.

    The markup will be livestreamed from the committee website.

    •  On Tuesday at 10:00 a.m., the House Small Business Committee holds a hearing entitled, “Helping Small Business Compete: Challenges and Opportunities in the Federal Procurement Marketplace.” Witnesses include: Belinda Guadarrama, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, GC Micro; and Bruce Lansdowne, President and Chief Executive Officer, Trinity Technology Partners. The hearing will be livestreamed from the committee website.

    • On Tuesday at 10:15 a.m., the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Investment holds a hearing titled, “Scaling Up Apprenticeships: Building on the Success of International Apprenticeship Models.” Witnesses include: Tim Bradley, Minister Counsellor for Industry, Science, and Education, Embassy of Australia; Dr. Silvia Annen, Senior Researcher, Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training; and Dr. Simon Marti, Head of Office, SwissCore. To watch the hearing, visit the committee website.

    • On Tuesday at 2:00 p.m., NCHER holds its Monthly Membership Call, which will provide 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 CFPB, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Note: The call-in number has been circulated to each organization’s primary point of contact.

    • On Wednesday, time TBD, the House Energy and Commerce Committee meets in executive session to consider H.R. 3375, the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, which aims to stop abusive and illegal robocall practices. The bill includes the following provisions:

    o   Directs the FCC to prescribe regulations necessary to clarify what is an automated telephone dialing system and a call made using an artificial or prerecorded voice. Last year, the FCC issued a public notice to carry out this initiative as a result of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia decision in ACA International v. FCC.

    o   Mandates the FCC to submit a report to Congress on the implementation of its reassigned numbers database to make sure the Commission is effectively protecting consumers from unwanted calls.

    o   Directs the FCC to ensure that calls and texts sent using an automated telephone dialing system or made using and artificial or prerecorded voice are made with consent and that consumers can withdraw consent.

    o   Defines “called party” to be the current subscriber or user of a telephone number (rather than expected recipient), effective upon establishment by the FCC of a reassigned number database. This provision will effectively require callers to use the database for verification of a reassigned number.

    o   Requires phone carriers to implement call authentication technology and includes a process to help rural carriers implement the technology.

    o   Allows carriers to offer call blocking services to consumers with no additional line charge on an opt-out basis with important safeguards to make sure important calls are not inadvertently blocked. The FCC is required to ensure that the call blocking is provided with “transparency and effective redress options for both (i) consumers; and (ii) callers.”

    o   Requires the FCC to enact safeguards so companies cannot abuse the robocall exemptions.

    o   Extends the statute of limitations under the Telephone Consumer Protection from one year to three years and, in some instances, four years for callers violating robocall prohibitions.

    • On Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Policy holds a hearing titled, “Economic Mobility: Is the American Dream in Crisis?” Witnesses include: Oren Cass, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute; Yuval Levin, Resident Scholar, AEI; Ramesh Ponnuru, Visiting Fellow, AEI; Thea Mei Lee, President, Economic Policy Institute; and Keith Miller, Principal, Franchisee Advocacy Consulting. To view the hearing, visit the committee website.
    •  On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the U.S. Court of Federal Claims hears oral arguments in the case of FMS Investment Corp. v. United States, where several private collection agencies are protesting the U.S. Department of Education’s Next Generation Financial Services Environment.
    •  On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity holds a legislative hearing on the following pieces of legislation: 1) a discussion draft “To amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize state approving agencies to carry out outreach activities;” 2) a discussion draft “To amend title 38, United States Code, to require that educational institutions abide by Principles of Excellence as a condition of approval for purposes of the educational assistance programs of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs;” 3) a discussion draft “To amend title 38, United States Code, to require proprietary for-profit educational institutions to comply with federal revenue limits to participate in educational assistance programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs;” 4) a discussion draft “To amend title 38, United States Code, to require that certain educational institutions have letters of credit as a condition of approval for purposes of the educational assistance programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs;” 5) a discussion draft “Forever GI Bill Class Evaluation Act;” 6) a discussion draft “VA Economic Hardship Report Act;” 7) a discussion draft “GI Bill Access to Career Credentials Act;” 8) a discussion draft, “To amend title 38, United States Code, to extend the time period under which an election must be made for entitlement to educational assistance under the All-Volunteer Educational Assistance Program of Department of Veterans Affairs;” 9) a discussion draft titled, “Student Veteran Empowerment Act of 2019;”and 10) a discussion draft, “To amend title 38, United States Code, to increase the monthly housing stipend under the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program for individuals who pursue programs of education solely through distance learning on more than a half-time basis.” To watch the hearing, visit the committee website.
    •  On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the Federal Reserve releases its Beige Book. Eight times a year, the Fed releases its Beige Book, a summary of current economic conditions for the 12 Federal Reserve Districts based on anecdotal information gathered through reports from Bank and Branch Directors and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts, and other sources.
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