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The House Committee on Education and the Workforce, chaired by Rep. John Kline (R-MN), today held a hearing with Education Secretary Arne Duncan to examine the administration’s budget and policy proposals. During the hearing, members spoke with Secretary Duncan about the need to address the upcoming student loan interest rate cliff with a lasting solution that will better serve students and taxpayers.
“The committee recently approved with bipartisan support the Smarter Solutions for Students Act,” said Chairman Kline, “legislation that mirrors the president’s proposal to tie student loan interest rates to the 10-year Treasury note… I hope the administration will work with us to move this bill quickly through the legislative process and into the president’s hands before the interest rate cliff hits millions of students on July 1st.”
In an exchange with Chairman Kline, Secretary Duncan affirmed his support for enacting a long-term solution to the student loan interest rate issue “sooner rather than later”:
We have to start taking on tough issues, we have to take them on in a bipartisan way and we have to think for the long haul… The fact that we can’t think long-term, the fact that we can’t take a tough issue deal with it, move it off the table move onto other issues, I just don’t understand that thinking. So we are interested in a long-term fix, we are interested in it being budget-neutral and look forward to continue conversations with you and others to find some common ground.
The Smarter Solutions for Students Act (H.R. 1911) will be up for consideration by the U.S. House of Representatives later this week. To learn more about the legislation, visit edworkforce.house.gov/SmarterSolutions.
To read witness testimony, opening statements, or watch an archived webcast of today’s hearing, visit www.edworkforce.house.gov/hearings.
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Congress has only begun working on student loans this year, and already it’s going better than last year’s debacle.
Election-year politics drove Congress and the White House to endorse a bumper-sticker policy — keep loan rates from doubling! — instead of looking at the substance. Lawmakers rushed to extend a 3.4 percent rate on certain new loans instead of allowing the rate to revert back to 6.8 percent. That doesn’t sound bad to borrowers, but it reflects the weird fact that those loan rates aren’t pegged to anything real, just to the whims of Congress, which inevitably uses student loans as political playthings.
This year, President Obama proposed pegging loan rates to the rate at which the government borrows, plus a relatively modest markup. On Thursday, the House Education and the Workforce Committee endorsed a similar policy. Its bill may reach the House floor this week. Other plans are being discussed in the Senate.
Though each plan differs in some important details, the basic point is that rates would reflect economic conditions instead of politics. Under any of the proposals, students — risky borrowers with little-to-no credit history — would still get a tremendous bargain relative to what private lenders would offer. But the size of that interest-rate subsidy wouldn’t unfairly fluctuate with Treasury yields. And generous income-based repayment programs would effectively limit the interest rate many borrowers would face over the course of repayment. Backers of the president’s plan and those behind the House’s say the proposals are designed to be roughly budget-neutral over 10 years. There’s no reason to delay passing such a policy.
Yet these plans are also limited. Interest-rate setting is just the beginning of the debate that lawmakers must have on student borrowing. For example, the Wall Street Journal recently profiled a woman who borrowed more than $300,000 in graduate student loans and used some of it to finance home repairs. But, depending on where she ends up working, she could be eligible for a massive principal and interest amnesty.
Instituting an income-based repayment program is an important piece of the system to ensure that students don’t face crushing debts after graduating. But lawmakers must also fix the kinks that may encourage excessive borrowing with too few restrictions, particularly for those who end up with large incomes.
Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), chairman of the House education committee, says that these and other issues will be part of a broader discussion Congress will have as it considers reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, which expires the end of this year. For the health of the country’s vaunted college and university system, not to mention the federal budget, lawmakers must maintain their strong start and do some serious policymaking this year.
To learn more about H.R. 1911, visit edworkforce.house.gov/SmarterSolutions.
I’d like to begin with a brief overview of what’s in the administration’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The president has asked for more than $71 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Education – up $5 billion from last year’s request and $3 billion from the year before.
This is on top of a request for $7 billion in mandatory funding for Pell Grants, $17.5 billion to “reform the teaching profession,” and $1.3 billion for a new universal preschool program – bringing the total budget proposal to a staggering $97.1 billion.
Without question, the president’s budget for the Department of Education has exploded over the last five years. The roughly $60 billion spent by the department in 2009 seems almost reasonable by comparison. Yet despite this significant increase in education spending, we haven’t seen any measurable improvements in student performance or graduation rates.
It’s time to acknowledge the fact that throwing more money into the nation’s education system is not the right answer to the challenges facing our classrooms. We’ve tried it for decades now. Since passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, federal spending on education has increased nearly every single year. But we just aren’t seeing results, so we need to work together on a new way forward that will better serve students and taxpayers.
Now let’s discuss an important item that is not in the budget.
Mr. Secretary, considering the glut of new spending in the president’s budget, the lack of funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is simply appalling. Per the law, the federal government is supposed to fund up to 40 percent of the costs of educating students with special needs, but once again, the administration’s budget does not even come close to that figure. In his budget request, President Obama’s contribution to IDEA remains at a paltry 15 percent.
I am concerned that instead of meeting our commitments and improving existing initiatives, the administration continues to propose more spending for new, untested programs. For example, instead of more IDEA funding, the president has proposed an expansive early childhood initiative. While we all recognize the value of quality early learning experiences, we must remember a number of programs with similar goals are already out there, including Head Start, the Child Care and Development Block Grant, and dozens of state preschool programs nationwide.
Reforming and improving existing programs throughout our education system should take precedence over new initiatives, and I believe this is one area Congress and the administration can work together. A large part of this effort must be rewriting the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
While I have made my concerns with the waiver process abundantly clear, I recognize the importance of freeing states and school districts from the law’s outdated metrics and regulations. However, this must be done through a full reauthorization of the law – not executive fiat.
Secretary Duncan, you and I agree on the importance of restoring local control and flexibility. You and I agree we must empower parents in our education system, and support school choice initiatives. And you and I agree teachers should be judged on their ability to motivate students in the classroom.
You have been repeatedly quoted in the press stating that you want Congress to reauthorize the law. The committee will soon renew its efforts to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and this time, I ask for the administration’s leadership as we work to advance legislation through the House and Senate, get through the conference process, and put a new law on the president’s desk before the end of the 113th Congress.
Let me end on a positive note. I appreciate that, like Republicans, the president has acknowledged the value of moving student loan interest rates back to a market-based system. As you know, the committee recently approved with bipartisan support the Smarter Solutions for Students Act, legislation that mirrors the president’s proposal to tie student loan interest rates to the 10 year Treasury note.
I am grateful for the time you have spent working with us on this proposal, Mr. Secretary. Your input was very valuable. I hope the administration will work with us to move this bill quickly through the legislative process and into the president’s hands before the interest rate cliff hits millions of students on July 1st.
Again, thank you for being with us today. I would now like to yield to the senior Democratic member of the committee, George Miller, for his opening remarks.
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Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will testify before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday, May 21 to discuss the Department of Education’s priorities for Fiscal Year 2014. In advance of the hearing, the committee has compiled 5 key questions Secretary Duncan should address:
Question 1: Will the administration support the Smarter Solutions for Students Act, legislation that largely mirrors President Obama’s plan to address the upcoming student loan interest rate cliff?
The Smarter Solutions for Students Act (H.R. 1911), introduced by House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), passed the committee with bipartisan support and is expected to come before the House of Representatives later this week. H.R. 1911 is similar to a proposal put forth in President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget plan that would move all federal student loans (except Perkins loans) to a market-based rate. Will the administration endorse H.R. 1911, or turn a blind eye under pressure from congressional Democrats?
Question 2: Is the department willing to work with Congress to reauthorize No Child Left Behind?
The Department of Education in 2011 began issuing temporary and conditional waivers from provisions under No Child Left Behind to states that agreed to adopt the administration’s preferred education reforms. This unprecedented executive overreach continues to undermine congressional efforts to rewrite the nation’s K-12 law. Secretary Duncan has repeatedly said he wants Congress to reauthorize the law, but will he support the committee’s efforts to do so in the 113th Congress?
Question 3: How will the president’s new Preschool for All proposal work better than existing federal and state initiatives?
President Obama’s budget requests $1.3 billion (and $75 billion over the next 10 years) for an expansive new early childhood education program. Chairman Kline has raised serious questions about the wisdom of piling another preschool initiative on top of several existing early childhood education programs, many of which are not working as effectively as we’d hoped. Can Secretary Duncan explain why it’s more important to create a new program instead of reforming and improving current initiatives?
Question 4: Why is the Department of Education requesting additional funding for new programs instead of meeting its existing commitments to students with disabilities?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) stated the federal government would fund up to 40 percent of the additional costs of educating students with disabilities. However, President Obama’s budget does not even come close to that figure with contributions to IDEA set at 15 percent. How does the department justify billions in new spending without keeping its promise to special needs children?
Question 5: What efforts are being taken to evaluate the department’s initiatives to eliminate duplication and waste?
Since the passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, federal education spending has increased nearly every year. The Department of Education now administers more than 80 programs tied to K-12 classrooms. Yet despite this massive bureaucracy, studies show American students are falling behind their international peers – making it even more crucial to reevaluate the federal role in the nation’s classrooms. Will the secretary acknowledge that it’s time for a new way forward – one that doesn’t assume more federal dollars is the only way to improve student achievement and put kids on the path to success?
To learn more about tomorrow’s hearing, click here.
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The purpose of the research study on states’ regulatory flexibility activity was to evaluate to what extent states went to mitigate the impact of state regulations on small businesses. The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) at the federal level requires agencies to minimize the impact of their regulations on small entities without compromising their regulatory objectives. States versions of the RFA, the research indicates, are/have been following different paths to the requirements and are having mixed results.
Sweaty palms…dry mouth…jitters…mind is racing…you wish you could just run and it would be over.
We all have experienced those pressure packed situations in our life. You are about to go in for that big make or break job interview/presentation…you’re about to give that big speech…or step into the ring for any one of the many pressure packed or nerve racking things we all experience in life. How do you prepare for those pressure packed moments? I know how those moments can be nerve racking…especially when you are not doing it on a regular basis or even worse it is your first or second time.
What would you say if I told you just before you “step on stage” to go into the bathroom and get big, take up space, open up, and get into a power pose…now hold it for two minutes. What’s a power pose you ask? Stand tall with your shoulders back, put a smile on your face and put your hands on your hips like you are a badass…now stand there like that for 2 minutes.. Do you think I’m nuts and it is just hocus-pocus…do you think this kind of stuff does not work? Think again…your body and what you do with it can change your mind…there is science to prove it. One of my wife’s good friends, Carolyn Driscoll, who subscribes to Monday Morning Mojo sent me this video a couple of weeks ago thinking it might have good content for a mojo. It is a bit long, but I promise if you take the time to watch it, whether you are a kid in school, an athlete, a business person, or you are just looking to have a better life you won’t be disappointed. It may make the difference between knocking it out of the park in those pressure packed moments or getting your block knocked off…really. So, grab your cup of Joe and watch it to the end…you will be moved and you will be a believer…I guarantee it.
Get Big, be powerful and fake it until you become it!!!!!
“Massive and Consistent Action = Massive and Consistent RESULTS!!!”
$3M in Broken Promises to Small Business
In his 2013 State of the Union, President Barack Obama said, “[o]ur government shouldn’t make promises we cannot keep.” When it comes to small business policies, the lofty promises have faded to pretensions.
Read the article online HERE.
On Wednesday, May 22 at 10:00 a.m., the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, chaired by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), will hold a hearing entitled, “Examining the Regulatory and Enforcement Actions of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.” Commission Chair Jacqueline Berrien is scheduled to testify. The hearing will take place in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws in the nation’s workplaces. Laws under the jurisdiction of EEOC include the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Federal law generally protects individuals from employment discrimination based on age, disability, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, or sex.
EEOC has traditionally focused its enforcement activities on individual complaints of discrimination. However, the agency has recently shifted more attention toward systemic discrimination that involves an alleged pattern or practice of discrimination. The commission has set a goal that up to 24 percent of all litigated cases be systemic in nature.
Furthermore, EEOC has also advanced new policies surrounding the use of criminal and background checks, which may affect employers’ ability to effectively protect their workers and customers. Wednesday’s hearing will provide members an opportunity to thoroughly examine the policies and priorities of EEOC. To learn more about the hearing, visit http://edworkforce.house.gov/hearings.
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Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
I have been following a book lately called “Becoming a Supple Leopard” by Dr. Kelly Starrett. What if you could eliminate back, knee or joint pain? What if you were ready to move at full capacity at all times? Becoming a Supple Leopard is described like this by Dr. Kelly Starrett in the first chapter:
For whatever reason, the “fast as a leopard” mantra stuck with me. But it wasn’t until a Navy SEAL buddy of mine said to me, “You know, Kelly, a leopard never stretches”– that this notion of becoming a supple leopard drifted into my consciousness.
Of course a leopard doesn’t stretch. A leopard has full capacity available at all times. It can attack and defend with full power at any moment. Unlike humans, it doesn’t need to prep for movement. It doesn’t need to activate its glutes: it doesn’t have to foam-roll: it doesn’t have to raise its core temperature – it’s just ready.
Obviously, we do not share the same physical playing field with leopards. We have to warm-up for strenuous activities and practice and ingrain good movement patterns. But that doesn’t mean we all can’t be working toward the goal of having full physical capabilities available to us instantaneously, or having the motor-control and range-of-motion to perform any physical feat at any time. Leopards don’t have to work at being supple: they naturally are. But people are brutally tight and missing key ranges of motion that prevent them from moving as supplely and powerfully as a leopard.
Every day I travel to Intero offices as a Title Rep for Orange Coast Title. This means several hours spent in a car as I travel between offices. I spend 2 hours in the morning a day inside the gym training for my Crossfit season. By the time I am on my sales calls, my body has tightened up enough to start feeling the ramifications of the work I put in earlier in the morning.
Over the years I have noticed the importance of becoming a “Supple Leopard.” The pain in the knees, back or any major joint was not worth it. 3 years ago if I had 15 more minutes before I had to go to an appointment, I might spend that last 15 minutes hitting another exercise or running a little longer. Now I choose to stretch and become mobile. Your workout routine and your diet are important. But the key to longevity is stretching. I can assure you that without proper stretching, all the hours you spend running or biking can be cut to zero without a strong emphasis on stretching.
If you are looking for great stretches to do inside your office while you’re working, click here -à http://www.mobilitywod.com/
Also if you find this information valuable, please listen to this webinar while you’re traveling during the day or at your office -àhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtJ3Ag4kpjM
*Finally, as I continue to travel to different Intero offices, I would be happy to meet with anyone pertaining to any fitness questions or goals they may have – FREE OF CHARGE! Please feel free to contact me.
With the amount of business done online today, the security of passwords and other confidential data is of most importance. With everything out there in cyberspace, sometimes it’s hard to trust that all of your information is safe.
It’s also quite the challenge to keep track of it all. I’m sure most of you end up emailing yourself login information or storing it all in a word doc on your desktop. It’s just sitting there waiting for someone to find it.
Well, DataVault Password Manager just might be able to help you out with keeping all of your sensitive information secure and organized. It is the best-selling password managers for mobile and desktop environments on the market and allows you to store all of your confidential data related to credit cards, financial accounts and logins using the most powerful encryption technology available.
DataVault is super easy to use and customizable just for you. Choose from 25 pre-defined templates or make your own. Customize screen colors and backgrounds by selecting from 6 themes. Define the categories that fit your needs – make them whatever you want, the sky’s the limit. Display information in tree view for intuitive organization by category or type, or in list view to maximize the number of items per screen. The app adapts to your needs by providing numerous customization options and personalization settings.
The app can also help you generate strong passwords using options for length, letters/numbers, uppercase, lowercase, and punctuation marks. Set advanced security settings on the app such as password masking, master password hint and security time out to make it even more difficult for people to get your information. All of your information will be backed up on iCloud and it synchronizes to Dropbox, Webdav and Wi-Fi options securely so you wont have to worry about losing anything.
The benefits of this little app are endless, best of all, you can rest easy knowing your information is safe.
Get DataVault Password for Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, Mac and Windows today!
On Tuesday, May 21 at 10:00 a.m., the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, chaired by Rep. John Kline (R-MN), will hold a hearing entitled, “Reviewing the President’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Proposal for the U.S. Department of Education.” The hearing will take place in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
In his Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposal, President Obama requested $71.2 billion in discretionary spending for the Department of Education, an 8.4 percent increase over current fiscal year funding levels. This is on top of $7.1 billion in mandatory spending for Pell Grants, $1.3 billion in mandatory funding for the new universal preschool program, and $17.5 billion in mandatory funding to support the teaching profession, bringing the total budget request to $97.1 billion.
Tuesday’s hearing will provide members an opportunity to review the administration’s budget request and examine whether an increase in department spending is the best approach to both fiscal and education policies. The Honorable Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, will offer testimony and answer members' questions during the hearing. To learn more about this hearing, visit www.edworkforce.house.gov/hearings.
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House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) today announced that two new proposed rules and a request for comment have been added to the Committee’s new digital resource, “Small Biz Reg Watch”: the SBA Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contacting Program; the DHS/DOL Wage Methodology for the Temporary Non-Agricultural Employment (H-2B) Program; and the extension of the EPA Lead Paint Rule to Public and Commercial Buildings.
Small Biz Reg Watch is a new initiative of the Committee, launched in January, to help small businesses participate in the development of federal regulations. This online resource on the Committee’s website will regularly highlight proposed regulations that could impact small companies and instruct business owners on how they can make comments to the federal agency considering the proposed regulation.
“These proposed regulations have the potential to affect a large amount of small businesses, so the private sector should have the opportunity to participate in the federal government rule-making process so they can affect the outcome,” said Graves. “Compliance with environmental regulations costs small businesses four times more than large firms, so I’m pleased that the EPA has extended the comment period to provide more time for input from small businesses. We’re also pleased that the Administration appears to be working to issue rules that will make it easier for Women-Owned Small Contractor to compete.”
The SBA has published an interim final rule implementing a statutorily mandated provision that removes the limitation on the dollar amount of set-aside contracts that women-owned small businesses can compete for under the Women-Owned Small Business Program. This statutory change is, in part, the result of the Committee’s small business contracting reforms that were signed into law on January 3, 2013, as part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013. Committee Member Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) recently led an effort by the Congressional Women’s Caucus to expedite this rulemaking. This comment period ends June 6th.
The DHS and the DOL have issued an interim final rule that changes the prevailing wage methodology used by the DOL to calculate certain prevailing wages paid to H-2B workers and employees recruited in connection with an H-2B Application for Temporary Employment Certification. The H-2B program allows non-agricultural employers facing a worker shortage to hire temporary unskilled workers from foreign countries, and is predominantly used by small businesses in the construction, amusement, landscaping, hotel, restaurant and forestry industries. The wage methodology rule, issued on April 24, 2013, is currently in effect under a “good cause” exemption and has increased the wages that small employers must pay to H-2B workers. This comment period ends June 10th.
The EPA has extended the comment deadline for interested parties to provide information and data on the presence of lead-based paint hazards in commercial and public buildings. The EPA is considering whether to extend its lead paint rules to cover renovation, repair, and painting activities in public and commercial buildings in a potential rulemaking. Small businesses that manage or perform renovations, repairs, or painting activities on the exterior or interior of public and commercial buildings will face increased compliance costs if EPA decides to move forward with a rule. This comment period ends July 20th.
Through the Small Biz Reg Watch initiative, the Committee regularly communicates with small businesses via email, social media, and through district events around America when new comment periods begin for select proposed rules that have a significant impact on a wide array of small businesses. The website URL is: www.smallbusiness.house.gov/RegWatch
House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN) issued the following statements today after the U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 45, legislation that would repeal President Obama’s government takeover of health care:
“Our nation is mired in a jobs crisis and the president’s health care law is making it worse,” said Chairman Kline. “Time and again employers have described the difficult choices ObamaCare is forcing them to make, including raising costs on customers and reducing the number of hours employees can work. This flawed law is bad for workers and job creators. As long as ObamaCare remains on the books, robust job growth will be stymied and the hope for commonsense health reforms will be diminished. It’s time to repeal this law so we can put more Americans back to work and advance real reforms to lower health care costs.”
“The greatest problems with the American health care system are cost and access,” said Rep. Roe. “We need health care reform in this country, but we need patient-centered health care reform, where patients, their families and their physicians make health care decisions- not government bureaucrats or insurance companies. Health care should not be a partisan issue. I stand ready to repeal this flawed bill and work with my Democrat colleagues on health care reform that will truly work for the American people.”
During floor debate, Chairman Kline highlighted the concerns of job-creators who have testified before the committee as part of its continued oversight of the health care law. To read Chairman Kline’s floor remarks, click here.
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Continuing on our review of The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane, chapter three identifies the obstacles that can hold a person back from being their charismatic self. These obstacles include physical discomfort and mental discomfort.
Any physical discomfort can affect your visible and external state. This can be anything from an itchy suit to the sun in your eyes. Although you may try to hide this discomfort during a conversation, the other person does feel the effect of your status; even if only on a subconscious level.
Luckily, this obstacle is easy to manage with some simple steps:
More challenging to conquer than physical discomfort, mental discomfort can result from anxiety, dissatisfaction, self-criticism, or self-doubt. These are all forms of internal negativity. Knowing how to handle this negativity is a person’s greatest challenge in becoming more charismatic, but also their greatest success as it lays a foundation of understanding themselves. Some of these can be managed through a Responsibility Transfer. This involves entrusting a benevolent source (the Universe, God, Fate) to take on the uncertainty. It allows you to be less affected by the anxiety, dissatisfaction, self-doubt or whatever might be keeping you from being at your best, and draws you out of your negative mental and physical state.
You can be guided by Cabane through the Responsibility Transfer exercise by going to Charisamyth.com/transfer. Hopefully, at the end of the exercise you’ll feel an instant sense of relief and warmth, calm and serenity rising.
Key Takeaways from Chapter 3
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