With the presidential, Senate and Congressional campaigns heating up after Labor Day, not much was expected to happen on Capitol Hill. The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the business of replacing her, has added a jarring new element to national politics. The debate over the nomination and when it will occur promises to be rancorous and hyper-partisan.
The partisanship does not bode well for “Phase 4” COVID-19 relief, as legislation is stalled with the Senate and House remaining at loggerheads. House Democrats are demanding a $2.2 trillion dollar relief package that includes significant aid to localities. Senate Republicans are holding their ground on a much smaller proposal that would include liability protection. The White House is threatening executive action if the sides cannot come together and form an agreement.
Freedom of Speech
The U.S. Department of Education has published the final regulations intended to implement President Trump’s executive order from March. The executive order directed that institutions receiving certain federal research and education grants must comply with existing federal law – private colleges and universities must abide by their stated free speech policies. The new regulations also facilitate faith-based institutions’ eligibility to participate in various grant programs under the Higher Education Act (HEA).