FROM Seth Stern
Student Loans: Does Public Money Need Private Administration? The big news on Sunday was House passage of healthcare reform and the so-called " reconciliation " bill that now goes to the Senate. Hardly noticed was that "reconciliation" also included the biggest change in the student loan program since 1965.
Student Loans: Does Public Money Need Private Administration? The scenario is all too familiar: increased demand and rising costs; diminishing revenues during a major recession. It's not healthcare, it's higher education. Yet -- almost without notice -- the two were packaged together in the reconciliation bill passed by the House on Sunday. The biggest student-loan change in 45 years would eliminate private middlemen in favor of government lending directly to struggling students. Some, but not all, of $61 billion in savings would go to Pell Grants for the neediest. Not one Republican voted for it. We hear the pros and cons.
Sotomayor's Questions Come to an End At today's Senate confirmation hearing , Lindsay Graham told Judge Sonia Sotomayor her record shows she's not a "radical" after all. But the South Carolina Republican said her now-famous " wise Latina " remark and other things she has said, as Graham put it, "bug the hell out of me." Seth Stern is legal analyst for CQ Politics.com .
House Panel Approves Subpoenas for Top White House Aides On a voice vote, a House Judiciary subcommittee has authorized subpoenas of top White House aides on the firing of eight US Attorneys. Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) rejected White House Counsel Fred Fielding's offer that Karl Rove and Harriet Miers testify behind closed doors, without being sworn and without any transcript of their testimony. Conyers will decide if the subpoenas actually will be issued. Republicans called the authorization "premature" and President Bush said he'll go to court to prevent a "public spectacle." Keith Perrine is legal affairs reporter for Congressional Quarterly .
The 'deconstruction' of the administrative state President Trump has failed to fill high-level positions in important agencies — and some people he has named want to phase out the agencies they're supposed to lead. We look at the possible consequences for delivering services and providing security — and at top aide Steve Bannon's plans for "deconstructing the administrative state."
House Republicans release their Obamacare replacement As two House committees take up "repeal and replacement" of "Obamacare," there may be life left in the Affordable Care Act after all. Even Republicans are divided, and proposed changes won't make good on President Trump's promise to provide "health insurance for everybody."
America's top diplomat faces challenges in Asia Whatever happened to America's "pivot to Asia?" That's just one of the questions left hanging since Rex Tillerson's first trip there as Secretary of State. Is the Trump Administration hoping to change Foreign Policy or maintain the status quo?