Higher Education Act Reauthorization Appears Unlikely This Year

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On June 1, 2018, The Washington Post reported:

On Thursday, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate education panel, told a New York Times education conference that this year his committee will not produce legislation to reauthorize the Higher Education Act of 1965, a federal law that governs almost every aspect of the sector.

At present, a number of factors make reauthorization unlikely. First, the 2018 midterm elections are approaching and that limits the legislative calendar. Second, in election seasons, the two parties typically seek to differentiate themselves. This can lead to a sharpening and hardening of divisions. Third, the differences between Democratic and Republican thinking on the legislation remain wide. In short, time and campaign-season politics have reduced prospects of reauthorization this year.

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