Capital Thinking Update - July 9, 2012

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In This Issue:

- General Legislative

- Agriculture

- Budget, Approrpriations

- Cybersecurity

- Education

- Energy

- Environment

- Financial Services

- International, Defense, Homeland Security

- Transportation

Excerpt from Education:

LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY -

?? Immigration Reform. In a June 28 letter, the Presidents and Chancellors of more than 100 major research universities urged Congress and the Obama Administration to find a bipartisan solution for "antiquated" immigration laws that now force many American-trained scientists and engineers to leave the country after graduating, resulting in “a growing skill gap across America’s industries.”

?? Student Loan Rates/Transportation Compromise. On Friday, June 29, Congress approved the Conference Report reauthorizing the nation’s surface transportation programs, which was packaged with legislation that would avert a doubling of student loan rates. (See further detail on the deal below.) The President immediately signed a temporary extension and held an event at the White House on Friday, July 6 with construction workers and college students for the ceremonial signing of the permanent measure. The deal included limiting the duration of new Stafford loan borrowers’ in-school interest subsidy to 150 percent of the normal time required to complete the degree to help pay for the extension. That offset was originally used by the Senate Appropriations Committee to pay for extending and expanding the maximum Pell Grant award in its Fiscal Year 2013 Labor-HHS Education Appropriations bill. Therefore, we expect to see new offsets offered at some point before a bill is finalized in that chamber.

Please see full update below for more information.

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