House GOP leaders are preparing to gauge support in their conference for a sweeping bill to overhaul federal higher education policy — the latest sign that the legislation is inching toward a floor vote soon. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s (R-La.) team plans to conduct a whip check this evening on the PROSPER Act, H.R. 4508 (115), according to an email to staff obtained by POLITICO.
— The bill was approved by the House education committee on a party-line vote in December, and the panel’s chairwoman, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), has been pushing in recent months to get it to the House floor. The notice from Scalise’s office, which follows a GOP conference meeting on the bill last month, pitches the legislation as a way to reform the Higher Education Act to “better prepare students for the workforce, and enable them to make more informed decisions about the cost and quality of higher education.”
— Democrats have been united in their opposition to the bill, slamming the legislation for cutting student aid programs and scaling back regulations on for-profit colleges. Dozens of groups representing colleges and universities as well as some veterans groups have come out against it.