Despite surprisingly robust opposition, Betsy DeVos became U.S. secretary of education Tuesday, thanks to a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence. The opposition was, in part, surprising because the secretary of education doesn't wield all that much power. In broad terms, education is largely a local issue. States and school districts provide most of the money and make most of the rules.
After Secretary-designate DeVos' confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Education Committee, several senators submitted additional follow-up questions to be answered before her final confirmation vote. The STEM Education Coalition compiled all the answers she provided in regards to STEM education.
The morning of Jan. 20, as one of his final acts as President of the United States, President Barack Obama signed into law bipartisan legislation to codify the Presidential Innovations Fellows (PIF) program, making permanent a pathway for government to attract experienced technology entrepreneurs and innovators to public service. The bill, H.R. 39, mirrors legislation introduced in the Senate by U.S. Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Mark R. Warner (D-VA), and James Lankford (R-OK).
There's been no official announcement about USPTO leadership from Trump's team, with the new president having been inaugurated earlier today. But The Hill reported yesterday that Michelle Lee, a former top lawyer at Google, will remain as USPTO director under President Trump.
The head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stressed to lawmakers on Tuesday that while fully autonomous cars are much further down the road, officials are working hard on cybersecurity concerns and creating a unified regulatory framework before they arrive.
President Obama is planning in the coming days to release an offshore oil and natural gas plan that blocks new drilling leases in the Arctic Ocean through 2022, people familiar with the plan said. The decision is part of the Interior Department’s five-year plan for offshore drilling, which lays out all of the proposed auctions for drilling rights on the outer continental shelf.
The new rule would have forced employers to disclose any legal advice they receive regarding unionization campaigns, even if those lawyers and consultants did not interact with workers or publicly advocate in the workplace -- the previous disclosure standard. Cummings made the injunction permanent on Wednesday, citing his belief that it is “unlawful.”
U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) spoke on the Senate floor about provisions she included in education reform legislation to support science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).