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House to propose big higher education bill this week

Photo: Bebeto Matthews / AP

House members are set to put forward a higher-ed revamp this week, including instituting borrowing caps and eliminating some loan forgiveness programs in the $1.34 trillion federal student loan program, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Why it matters: Republicans wrote the bill without any Democratic input, according to Democratic congressional aides who said they have yet to even see the text of the bill. Based on what has been reported, aides told Axios Democrats on the committee will oppose what they see as a harmful bill, and they expect backlash from most of the higher education community except for-profit universities.

Big picture: This would be the most significant overhaul of education policy in years, deregulating parts of the industry and adding incentives for universities to ensure students graduate with skills that will land them a job and promoting other educational paths besides traditional universities.

The bill would also:

  • Force schools to pay back federal loans that a student is not able to pay post-graduation.
  • Provide more funding to community colleges who partner with the private sector to create apprenticeships.
  • Eases up on for-profit colleges, allowing equal access to federal aid for profit and non profit schools and eliminating the gainful employment regulation on for-profits.
  • End loan-forgiveness programs for public-service employees.
  • End the program that sets monthly payments based on income for private-sector workers.
  • Simplify the FAFSA application process.

What's next: The Congressional Budget Office is expected to give the bill a score this week, according to WSJ. But the bill will probably take about a year to make its way through Congress, and will likely see major changes before making it into law.

Steve LeVine 6 hours ago
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Self-driving lab head urges freeze after "nightmare" fatality

Uber self-driving car in Pittsburgh. Photo: Jeff Swensen / Getty

Carmakers and technology companies should freeze their race to field autonomous vehicles because "clearly the technology is not where it needs to be," said Raj Rajkumar, head of Carnegie Mellon University's leading self-driving laboratory.

What he said: Speaking a few hours after a self-driven vehicle ran over and killed a pedestrian in Arizona, Rajkumar said, "This isn't like a bug with your phone. People can get killed. Companies need to take a deep breath. The technology is not there yet. We need to keep people in the loop."

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Trump, Sessions & GOP lawmakers to meet about sanctuary cities

Jeff Sessions claps behind Donald Trump's blurry profile at a speech
Attorney General Jeff Sesssions, Donald Trump, Melania Trump. Photo: Mandel Ngan / Getty

The White House is hosting a roundtable on sanctuary cities Tuesday afternoon with the President, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen of the Department of Homeland Security, Republican lawmakers and others, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Conservatives tried to use this week’s massive government spending bill to cut federal funds from sanctuary cities, but they failed, according to sources involved in the process. But Trump officials want to use Tuesday’s event to highlight the issue and put pressure on cities that don't comply with federal immigration law enforcement.