Ranking News


Senator Murray Calls to Build on Bipartisan Efforts as HELP Committee Advances Bills Tackling Variety of Health Issues

Yesterday, Senate Democrats and Republicans on the HELP Committee voted to advance eight bills out of committee to address health challenges families and communities face Murray: "These eight bills are a testament to what's possible when we focus on bipartisan, common sense solutions." Murray: "I hope we can build on the progress that these bill represent. Democrats have lots of other ideas ready to go to protect families' health care, repair the damage President Trump has caused, and … Continue Reading


What happens after you’re sexually assaulted on a plane? Not much.

Airline travel is stressful under even the best circumstances. But for too many passengers, it's the source of something more traumatic than long lines and a lack of legroom. This year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has opened 58 investigations into in-flight sexual assault allegations on commercial aircraft. But these investigations still don't address the problematic reality that no centralized system exists for reporting sexual assaults on flights, or even collecting and publishing data… Continue Reading


Feds will restore grant funding for thousands of students burned by for-profit college closures

The Department of Education is resetting the clock on Pell grant eligibility for students who burned through the federal aid to cover costs at colleges that closed, a move that will help tens of thousands of people complete their education at another school. Pell, a form of federal financial aid for families typically earning less than $60,000 a year, is available only for six years or 12 semesters. Say a student pursuing a bachelor's degree uses three years worth of that aid before his college… Continue Reading


Veterans Affairs will begin covering IVF and adoption costs for wounded veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs will begin covering costs for in vitro fertilization and adoptions for combat-wounded veterans struggling with infertility because of their injuries, giving thousands of young veteran families fresh hope at starting a family, advocates say. President Obama signed a bill last week that allows the agency to pay the costs for the next two years from existing VA health-care funds. The provision was authored by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who said she is also… Continue Reading


Congress Ends Spat, Agrees To Fund $1.1 Billion To Combat Zika

After nearly seven months of bickering and finger-pointing, Congress on Wednesday agreed to allocate $1.1 billion to help fight the spread and effects of the Zika virus. The deal is part of a broader agreement to continue to fund the government after the fiscal year ends on Friday and the current budget expires. It brings to an end a partisan fight that has had the unusual effect of delaying funding to deal with what all sides agree is a public health emergency. The delay came out because of d… Continue Reading


As Olympics Begin, Senators Renew Call For Equal Pay For U.S. Women’s Soccer Stars

By: Travis Waldron Huffington Post Two U.S. senators on Wednesday renewed their efforts to scrutinize why players on the U.S. women's national soccer team earn less than their male counterparts, just hours before the USWNT begins its run at a fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal. "We remain focused on the pressing issue of pay equity for the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team," Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) wrote in a letter addressed to the U.S. Soccer Fed… Continue Reading


The New Era of Education Accountability

By: Lauren Camera US News With No Child Left Behind in the rear view mirror and waivers a thing of the past, states are embarking on a new era of school accountability under the new education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act. And as they get to work using their newfound flexibility to create a more personalized system of checks and balances, the question weighing heavy on everyone's mind is whether states will be able to shed No Child Left Behind's one-dimensional accountability system i… Continue Reading


U.S. Education Department issues guidelines for supporting homeless students

By: Joe Heim Washington Post With millions of students across the United States set to begin returning to school in coming weeks, the U.S. Department of Education issued guidance Wednesday for states and school districts on how to respond to the specific needs of homeless students. The guidelines, provided in response to new provisions in the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, emphasize practices aimed at providing stability and safety for the homeless public school population, which inc… Continue Reading


Congressional Democrats tell VA to boost oversight of for-profit colleges

Politico House and Senate Democrats today urged the Department of Veterans Affairs to step up oversight of for-profit colleges that enroll students under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and 26 other Senate Democrats wrote VA Secretary Robert McDonald, demanding the agency "do more to hold unscrupulous colleges accountable for providing a high-quality education and preventing high-pressure recruitment tactics." State attorneys general and fe… Continue Reading


Education Department eases financial aid application restrictions for homeless college students

By: Danielle Douglas-Gabriel Washington Post The Education Department is revising the federal financial aid application to make it easier for homeless college students to access loans and grants, in response to requests from Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). Murray, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, has sent letters urging the department to simplify requirements that ask students to verify their living situation every year and supply documen… Continue Reading


Important news in higher ed: Federal Pell grants may soon cover summer school

By: Katherine Long Seattle Times New bipartisan legislation would allow students who get federal financial aid for college to use the grants for summer school, which could help them finish a college degree faster. A bill to allow students to get federal Pell Grants for summer school passed through the Senate's appropriations committee last week. It was supported Washington's Sen. Patty Murray, the top Democrat on the Senate Labor, Health, and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee, and L… Continue Reading


Top K-12 Congressional Democrats Tell Obama Admin. Not to Forget About Pre-K

By: Andrew Ujifusa Education Week The top two Democrats in Congress for K-12 education issues are telling President Barack Obama's administration: Make sure you take care of the new grants for preschool under the Every Student Succeeds Act. In a letter to Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. and Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., say the two secretaries must simultaneously support states seeking Preschool Develop… Continue Reading


Obama administration issues rules to overhaul student debt forgiveness

By: Danielle Douglas-Gabriel Washington Post Students will have a clearer path to loan forgiveness if they are defrauded or misled by their colleges, according to rules issued Monday by the Obama administration, which also create a financial backstop to ensure that schools, not taxpayers, are responsible for the debt. "The Obama administration won't sit idly by while dodgy schools leave students with piles of debt and taxpayers holding the bag," Education Secretary John B. King Jr. said on a… Continue Reading


A Sit-Down With Sen. Patty Murray, One of ESSA's Architects

By: Alyson Klein Education Week The Every Student Succeeds Act is officially six months old Friday. Politics K-12's Alyson Klein sat down separately with all four of ESSA's key architects in Congress to talk about the development of the law, the successor to the No Child Left Behind Act, and its future. This interview, with Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the top Democrat on the Senate education committee, took place back in April, before the U.S. Department of Education released proposed E… Continue Reading


Senate appropriations committee approves bipartisan bill to restore year-round Pell

By: Sabrina Rodriguez Politico The Senate Appropriations Committee today advanced a bipartisan Labor-Health and Human Services-Education spending bill that would restore year-round Pell Grants, but also redirects some of the program's surplus funding away from student aid. Senators overwhelmingly showed support for the bill in a 29-1 vote to report it out. Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers praised the move to restore year-round Pell Grants, which were included as part of a deal reache… Continue Reading


Sen. Murray touts deal to boost medical research funding by $2 billion

By: Carol Garnick Puget Sound Business Journal U.S. Sen. Patty Murray says she has nailed down a bipartisan deal to boost funding for the National Institutes of Health next year by $2 billion. Because Washington state ranks No. 8 in the nation for the amount of NIH funding it receives, a $2 billion increase could mean a significant bump in funding for the state. In 2015, Washington was awarded $885 million in total funding. "NIH investments are critical to Washington state patients, familie… Continue Reading


Senate panel approves funding bill with big boost to fight opioid epidemic

By: Dylan Scott STAT News WASHINGTON - A key Senate panel approved a health funding bill Tuesday that would nearly double the federal support for fighting the nation's opioid epidemic. The 2017 funding bill unveiled by Senators Roy Blunt of Missouri and Patty Murray of Washington, who head the subcommittee that oversees health spending, would increase spending for addressing opioid abuse to $261 million. That's up $126 million from last year, a 93 percent increase. The proposal would boost f… Continue Reading


Reports: Homeless, foster kids face enormous hurdles in trying to get to college

By: Joe Davidson Washington Post While the path from kindergarten through college can be tough for anyone, two government reports released this month outline the particular difficulties facing poor black and Hispanic students, as well as the higher education hurdles confronting homeless and foster youth. One Government Accountability Office (GAO) study shows increasing isolation of poor students of color in K-12 education. And, their schools have fewer resources. Another GAO report says home… Continue Reading


Just how dangerous is meat and poultry packing?

By: Kate Gibson CBS News There's an inside joke among meat industry workers about the risks they face in the slaughter trade: Who is killing whom -- are we killing cattle, or are they killing us on the processing line? That bit of dark humor was relayed by Jose Gaytan, a former meatpacking worker from Nebraska, who spoke at a telephone press conference held by worker advocates to discuss a report released Wednesday from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which found illness and inju… Continue Reading


Senate Passes Equal Pay Resolution For U.S. Women’s Team Soccer Stars

By: Travis Waldron Huffington Post WASHINGTON - The U.S. Women's National Team gained another ally in its fight for equal pay on Thursday, when the Senate unanimously approved a non-binding resolution calling on the U.S. Soccer Federation to "immediately end gender pay inequity and to treat all athletes with the respect and dignity those athletes deserve." Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and 21 other Democrats introduced the resolution earlier this month, after five members of the USWNT filed a c… Continue Reading

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