NAICU Washington Update

Higher Education Act: The End is Near, or Is It?

Is the never-ending saga of the Higher Education Act (HEA) bill about to end? Or are current rumors merely more of the same stuff that have trailed the beleaguered process in the past? This past week in Washington, at least three versions of the "almost done" rumor circulated through lobbyist circles.

The first rumor had it that the bill was almost finished, and would be done in time for the HEA conference report to be passed into law before the extension of the current bill expires on April 30. That rumor was quickly replaced by a second: the Senate would add all of the conferenced HEA items to the House bill addressing the student loan credit crunch (see first story, above), then toss the whole bill back to the House who would send it to the president shortly. A third rumor said that the Senate would not amend the credit crunch bill, but would merely give it the upper chamber's stamp of approval, and send it to the White House for signature - leaving HEA behind in the dirt. The final rumor sees another HEA extension coming soon, most likely on the credit crunch bill, but predicts that completion by Memorial Day is likely.

What do NAICU staff think? We think this is an insane process.

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