Episode 32: What Higher Education Can Expect From the Biden Administration

 

​​​​​​​​​The Biden-Harris platform unveiled during the 2020 presidential campaign suggests that higher education will be a primary focus of the new administration. ACE Senior Vice President Terry Hartle joins the hosts to talk about what we can expect to see come January, including attempts to double Pell Grants and make public college free for middle-income families and roll back a range of Trump-era regulations and orders such as Title IX and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. They also discuss the need to pass a comprehensive COVID relief package, ideally in the lame duck congressional session.


Here are some of the links and references from this week’s show:

Biden Will Take a Decisively Different Approach to Higher Education

Biden's Victory Could Be Transformative
Inside Higher Ed | Nov. 9, 2020

With DeVos Out, Biden Plans Series of Reversals On Education
The Washington Post (sub. req.) | Nov. 9, 2020

Joe Biden Won. Here’s What Higher Ed Can Expect.
The Chronicle of Higher Education (sub. req.) | Nov. 7, 2020

ACE, Other Associations Ask DHS to Withdraw Flawed Duration of Status Proposed Rule

Renewing the Higher Education Act

The Biden Presidency and International Education
Inside Higher Ed | Nov. 12, 2020

Hosts and Guests
Transcript

 Read this episode's transcript

Jon Fansmith: Hello, and welcome to dotEDU, the higher education policy podcast from the American Council on Education. I'm your host, John Fansmith. In this episode, we'll be talking about the recent elections and what they'll mean for higher ed. We'll be covering not only what were the biggest surprises and the results of the election, but what a Biden administration will look like for higher education, what will the next Congress look like for higher education? And then a few predictions for before we even get to the Biden administration, what we'll be seeing in the lame-duck session of Congress that's rapidly coming up. Today, I am joined by my usual co-hosts, Mushtaq Gunja, and Sarah Spreitzer. And we are joined by another in-house favorite of all of ours, senior vice president of ACE, Terry Hartle. Welcome to all of you.

Mushtaq Gunja: Hi, everybody.

Sarah Spreitzer: Hey, guys.

Jon Fansmith: And we are as always coming to you via Zoom, we are socially distant and very safe. It allows us to look at each other's clothing choices and insult them from a distance in ways we never would face-to-face. But we have a big meaty topic to talk about today and we're sort of abandoning our usual format to get into it because there's a lot to say. The elections, everyone has been talking about these in some quarters for the last four years, much less the last year or the last two years.

Mushtaq, I know you track races perhaps more obsessively than anyone else I know. You are keeping me updated on very obscure races that I was unaware of. So looking at the election, and I should remind our listeners that we are recording this about a week after the elections, only a few days after the final determination for the president, but looking back at what we saw, what we've learned, what were the big surprises that you picked up on?

Mushtaq Gunja: It's a great question, Jon. Just as a reminder to listeners, we talked about the Utah fourth congressional district last time as being a potentially close race. And the last time I checked, I think it was within 1,500 votes, so it did turn out to be quite close, with the Burgess Owens I think having a slight lead right now.

Jon, I think two surprises for me, one sort of bigger picture and then one state-specific race. As we record this, Vice President Biden leads President Trump by about 4.8 million votes total, something like 3%, a little bit bigger than 3%. I think it's fair to say that when all the votes are counted, there are many outstanding votes from California, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, I think he's probably likely to win this race by 7, 8 million votes, probably somewhere between 4 and 5%, and that's a pretty big win. If you look back in our last few years, that's going to be a bigger margin of victory than President in 2016, President Obama in 2012, President Bush in 2004, certainly President Bush in 2000. I mean, this is a pretty big win. But I think if you were to sort of just gauge the way that the chattering class is talking about this, I think you might get a little bit of a different sense about the magnitude of this victory. I know it it's close to the electoral college, but not that close. I mean, it's likely when the votes are counted, that that Vice President Biden will have over 300 electoral votes. So that's surprise number one. The way in which I think we're processing this victory very much feels like it is at least somewhat of a product of the way in which the results came in and were tabulated, and the way we felt it coming in on Tuesday night and then the next few days.

Then on the state side, in a year in which there was so little ticket splitting, I mean, if you look at the votes won by Senator Purdue in Georgia and compare that to the number of votes that President Trump got, almost identical; in North Carolina with Senator Tillis; and in Iowa, Senator Ernst, there was very little ticket splitting. But man, Senator Collins in Maine was an enormous exception. I think Senator Collins is likely to outrun President Trump by 15, 16 points. I mean, amazing, especially in a year in which President Trump was out there hammering Senator Collins on a number of issues, including her vote on Justice Barrett. It's just really something. If I had two surprises, those would be my two. But I'm curious what all of you think, Jon, Sarah, Terry.

Sarah Spreitzer: Well, was anybody surprised by the fact that the Dems lost seats in the House? I mean, I thought that was something that the polls got a bit wrong. And then the idea that I know that there's two Senate races that are still in a runoff, but the fact that the polls seem to indicate that the Dems were going to gain some seats in the Senate, and so I think they were also off on that.

Jon Fansmith: One of the things, somebody... I saw earlier, so I don't want to take credit for this, but said, if you had placed a bet that the Republicans would pick up California House seats and the Dems wouldn't take a single Texas House seat that was in play, you would have made a whole lot of money, and that's the way it's playing out. The margins are really narrowing in the House, which was contrary to I think everyone's expectations. Terry, I know you and I have talked about this on multiple occasions. Besides the turnout, which was massive for both parties, I think it was pretty surprising, were there things you thought were particularly surprising?

Terry Hartle: Well, I want to go back to the point Mushtaq made. I think one of the reasons people are interpreting this as a negative outcome is because the polls were once again, so far off. People had an expectation for how this was going to out. The polls all seemed to be pointing in the same direction. As with 2016, by about 9:00 at night, it was pretty clear that the polls were going to be way off. But at the end of the day, I think especially if he takes Arizona and Georgia, where he is now in the lead, President-elect Biden will have over 300 electoral votes. That's a pretty solid electoral college victory, granted, many of those states are very narrow, but it's still a pretty solid victory. And as Mushtaq indicates, he's going to have a big win in the popular vote.

The fact that the Democrats lost House seats, which was certainly not on their schedule, they didn't plan for that at all, and that's leading to some harsh words within the House Democratic caucus about why they lost those seats. We often say this, that elections are easy, governing is hard. And the governing tasks in facing the Biden administration are going to be harder because the congressional elections did not turn out remotely as the Democrats hoped or thought that they would. They thought they'd increase their margin in the House. When all is said and done, they're going to have a very small margin in the House, five or six seats. That's barely a working majority. Unless they pick up both of the Senate seats in Georgia, they will still be the minority party in the Senate, which means Mitch McConnell is driving the bus. And that's been a problem for Democrats whenever they've held the presidency, because Senator McConnell does what's best for Republicans and that's not always what The White House would like him to do.

Jon Fansmith: I want to pick up on that a little bit because we've touched on the Senate races. I mean, it is kind of an amazing set of circumstances we're facing where one state will have two runoffs for both of their Senate seats in the same election cycle, at a point in which the Senate seats that are held by either party are evenly split. You are one state will determine the majority in the Senate. Obviously, I think Democrats going into this cycle, if they'd been told that that would be the case and that state would be Georgia, would be feeling very pessimistic. But, it looks like at least now before a recount, that Georgia will have gone for Joe Biden, that the Senate candidates had very strong turnout, very strong support. Terry, you, I'm not going to say wrote off, but said, it seems unlikely that the Senate will be Democratic-controlled at the end of these runoffs. Any thoughts as to why that would be?

Terry Hartle: Well, the Democrats will have to pick up both Georgia Senate seats, and the Democrats, to do that are going to need a huge turnout. Turnout in special elections tends to be lower than it is in national elections. The Republicans are going to throw an atom bomb of cash at the Georgia Senate races as a way of blocking the efforts of Democrats to enact President Biden's agenda. And Georgia still, I think is fundamentally a pretty red state. I don't think they've gotten to the point yet, as Virginia, that they have in any sense, shifted to a blue state. I think in my view, the odds are against the Democrats, but we've seen a lot of strange things in American politics in the last four years, so we shouldn't rule out any possibility, no matter how remote it might seem.

Jon Fansmith: And just one of the things adding to the uncertainty there, the election is on January 5th, for both of those Senate seats. It's a very short window between the end of the recent election and that one. And you add to it that we're in a situation in which, Mushtaq or Terry, you're more of the historical expert here, but I can't recall at least another presidential election where the outcome was apparently very, very clear, and yet the losing party has refused to concede at this point, which adds a whole other level of difficulty, and particularly in a Georgia election may do all sorts of things in terms of incentivizing certain people to come out to the polls, or suppressing people's desire to vote. Very hard to tell. This is a very unusual set of circumstances.

Mushtaq Gunja: What this means for the transition, I think is really interesting. I mean, I wonder what the transition might look like in a world in which we didn't have a Georgia Senate runoff. Because I wonder if part of the reason that the Senate Republicans have been a little bit slow in acknowledging President-Elect Biden's win is that they would like to keep that campaign issue alive in Georgia. I don't know how that plays out, but it might have real-life governing consequences for President-Elect Biden when he actually takes over.

Jon Fansmith: I think it's a good point, and actually we have not yet talked about the Biden administration, but the transition at the very least at this point is going to start later than previous transitions. That said, these are pretty stark differences between the outgoing administration and the incoming administration on policies. Terry, there's a lot of things I think we in higher ed would like to see out of a Biden administration, but in particular things that they could do to hit the ground running right out of the gate when they do take office. What are some of those things?

Terry Hartle: Well, I think before they get to the presidency after the inauguration, we have to get through the lame duck Congress, and obviously that's got some pretty big implications for higher education. All of the spending bills for federal agencies for fiscal year 2021 are still up for discussion. And then there's the possibility that they would try to do some sort of a COVID supplemental spending bill in December as well. Both the Republicans and Democrats know they have to do something about the spending bills. Democrats would like to get those out of the way before the Biden administration takes over so they've cleared the decks. But there'll be a lot of gamesmanship taking place I think on the supplemental, where Republicans and Democrats will ask themselves, "Do we think we'll do better on a COVID supplemental if we do it in December or in January?"

Vice President Biden had laid out in the campaign, a pretty extensive human capital agenda that he wanted to pursue if elected and he's going to pursue that. I think in higher education, there were several major elements of it, more funding for historically Black colleges and universities, doubling Pell grants, free public college or free community college, large-scale debt forgiveness. The Biden folks need congressional action to do any of those four things. In the case of Pell grants and historically Black colleges and universities, Congress simply needs to provide more money. But in the case of free college or a large-scale debt forgiveness, it's likely that Congress is going to have to pass legislation to make that happen, particularly the free college part of that. Anytime Congress gets involved in the current political environment, things get much rougher. And so I think that the Biden administration will be looking for some easy wins as soon as they take over in January. I think they will start by identifying regulatory initiatives of the Trump administration that they would like to overturn. So I would suspect a Biden administration to overturn the Title IX regulations dealing with sexual assault that the Trump administration put in place and that took effect in August. I would expect the borrower defenses gainful employment regulations that the Democrats believe protect students from unscrupulous schools will be put back in place. I think the executive order on race and sex stereotyping is likely to be on the chopping block pretty quickly.

The first thing I think we'll see are a lot of regulatory initiatives coming out of the Executive branch. The speed at which things go away, depend upon the manner in which the Executive branch in the Trump administration established them. Some things can go away pretty quickly, other things are going to take a little while. But I think the first order of business for the Biden administration is going to be to undo some of the things that the Trump administration has put in place, not just in education, but in healthcare, in environmental areas, the Department of Labor. I think you're going to see a lot of action in the executive branch that we might normally not see.

Jon Fansmith: That's a great point. And I think Sarah, in particular, there's a couple of things we've been talking about throughout the podcast. DACA is first and foremost, but in the international space that seem like they could be also addressed by the administration early.

Sarah Spreitzer: I was going to say, even though this is going to be, I think an odd transition. I mean, at the point of this recording, we're still waiting for GAO to release money to the transition team. It really does sound like the Biden team is hitting the ground running, so that President-Elect Biden already announced his COVID taskforce yesterday, and he's been having conversations or at least the team's having conversations already with Congress about what they'd like to see; a new COVID stimulus. Whenever the transition actually officially starts running, I think that they're going to have done a lot of the groundwork. I guess to Terry's point about Executive orders, I think that they're putting together a list of things that they would like to do. And so we've seen President-Elect Biden say several times that he's going to restore DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals on day one, because that can be done by Executive order. I think some of the things in the immigration space that were done by proposed rules, the duration of status proposed rules, I mean, that hasn't been finalized and it hasn't been implemented, it'll be a little harder to unwind.

We're also waiting to see, we have some interim final rules on H1Bs that we just submitted comments on. Because those are interim final rules, they could start implementing them I think, before they leave, but then the Biden administration would start to unravel them. So there's a lot in the immigration space because obviously, that was one of the Trump administration signature policy areas.

Jon Fansmith: Sarah touched on the transition, so Mushtaq, I want to take advantage of your experience having been at a federal agency during a transition period, a little bit different outgoing rather than incoming. But obviously there's some roadblocks. The administration is refusing to concede the election. They're not allowing Biden's transition team to begin operations. Talk a little bit maybe about those complications, but also what's just involved in an incoming administration taking the reins of power and how they implement their policies?

Mushtaq Gunja: Sure. I think that there are two components. One is that typically what is called a landing team would arrive from the transition to each of the departments, to do a couple of things. One is to ascertain what the state of affairs is on the ground. What is the Department of Education working on? What's the most important thing that's sort of happening? A huge chunk of the things that happen at most agencies, including the Department of Education, are particularly political. Grants are going to go out, loans need to be processed and served. So, a good chunk of the work for the landing team is just sort of ascertaining what's the most important thing that you are working on? How can we help? How can we make sure that no balls are dropped?

Then there are a set of things where the new administration will want to go in a different direction than the old administration, and being able to identify where those are, who's working on them, and try to figure out sort of the right way to maneuver from one administration to the next is sort of the second task of the landing team. If the Trump administration does not concede and the Biden landing team is unable to go into the Department of Ed to really see what the state of affairs is, that could be a problem for some of the routine work of the administration, especially in federal student aid, and potentially in some parts of the Office of Post Secondary Education, where grants and money actually need to go out in some sort of routine fashion. A week's delay is not going to kill anything, but a two-month delay would be a significant problem. I hope that this gets worked out sooner rather than later. Terry, you've seen a bunch of these. I've only done one transition. This feels different. How worried should we be?

Terry Hartle: Well, I think the final point you made, that the issue here is the length of time that it goes on more than anything. Remember, in 2000 with the Bush Gore election, we didn't have a decision until early December, at which point Vice President Gore immediately conceded, and the transition began. But we have been through this in the last two decades, when the transition activities were delayed and that's all that we can see right now, the transition activities are going to be delayed for some period of time. I think the bigger concern here is that if at the end of all the legal action, the result is that Vice President Biden is designated as President, will the Republicans then immediately recognize, "Yes, he is the President?" The Democrats in 2000, with deep regret, but immediately accepted George Bush as the President. I'm not sure how the Republicans will handle that this time around if in fact, Biden is the eventual winner.

Jon Fansmith: One other obviously key element of a new administration taking hold at the Department of Education would be who would be in charge at the Department of Education? Obviously, it's a little bit early for the Biden team to start announcing who will be heading the various agencies, but that doesn't keep people from speculating. In fact, even before the election, people were speculating about who would head different agencies. Terry, I think I'd start with you, but I want to ask everybody, are there any rumors you've heard that seem particularly interesting, or any insights you've heard? You're all talking to folks, you're all hearing stuff. I'd be curious and I'm sure our listeners would be too, about who might be the next Secretary of Education under President Biden.

Sarah Spreitzer: Well, I'm floating Mushtaq's name, but I don't know how much traction that's getting. I mean, it will definitely-

Jon Fansmith: I'd get behind it.

Sarah Spreitzer: It will be somebody in the K-12 arena. I mean, they never pick anybody higher ed focused. We usually work most closely with an undersecretary, so definitely somebody from K-12. I think the person doing the transition is Linda Darling-Hammond from Stanford, and she had done the Obama administration transition, and so she's an old hand at this. I think that's all I have.

Jon Fansmith: Mushtaq, Terry, any promising picks?

Terry Hartle: Well, I think it's way too early for that. Lots of names or get thrown around very quickly. From what I've read so far, almost all the names are elementary, secondary education folks, as Sarah mentioned. Only once in the history of the Department of Education, has the secretary ever come from a clear higher education background. Laura Cavasso is the first secretary of education under the George H.W. Bush administration, had been Dean at Tufts Medical, and then president of Texas Tech University. But everybody else has either been entirely from the elementary, secondary world, or had some foot in both segments.

Secretary DeVos, after she was named, I was very surprised during her transition to realize that she was really the secretary for student financial assistance, as opposed to the secretary of education. Student aid is by far the largest part of the Department of Education's budget, but it's never the deciding consideration in selecting someone to be Secretary of Education. I think the question for higher education in this, will being totally dependent on the selection of a secretary, is how the administration organizes itself in the Department to handle higher education issues. The last two administrations have had an undersecretary who was responsible for higher education, but previous administrations did not. The previous administrations had an undersecretary who did both elementary and higher education. Previous administrations put a lot of weight in the assistant secretary for post-secondary education position. That position really hasn't been very influential in the last two administrations, and it's been vacant for long periods of time. I think it's way too early to be speculating about who will take over as the secretary, what the secretary's agenda will be. I think right now we simply look at what President-Elect Biden said during the campaign about historically Black colleges, doubling Pell grants, debt cancellation and free public higher education. We have to discount those a little bit because the Democrats are not going to have a significant control on Capitol Hill. Many of those things require congressional action.

I think the first thing we'll see out of the administration is an effort to roll back many of the things that the Trump administration put in place. Things that the Trump administration put in place through executive branch action can be relatively easily repeal through executive branch activity. I think that's what we'll see in the first few months of the administration.

Jon Fansmith: Well, and I think you artfully dodged my question about who you think will be the next secretary of education. But what we've come out of that discussion is we have two votes for Mushtaq, so he's currently the front runner, at least internally here at ACE. So we don't know who the secretary will be. We do have a pretty good sense, even with the uncertainty in the Senate with the runoff elections, what the House and the Senate committees are going to look like. Obviously, those are of primary importance to us and our members in terms of the legislative agenda. We don't have to go too deep into this because I think there's going to be a lot of carryover, but anything in particular that strikes the three of you about what we'll be seeing, or is it just going to be a lot more of the same in the next Congress?

Mushtaq Gunja: Well, we're losing Senator Alexander, which is an enormous loss for education, former secretary of education. Sarah, Terry, Jon, who's likely to take over on the Senate HELP?

Terry Hartle: Well, the betting right now is that North Carolina Senator Richard Burr is next in line for the Republicans. He is currently chairing the intelligence committee, but there is a lot of thinking that he might be moved to the HELP committee for the next couple of years. It's a little uncertain who would come after that. There are several other people in line for the Republicans, but again, we really have to wait and see, because until those two Georgia Senate races are decided, the committees can't really organize. The committees were organized by Republicans. It looks like they will be organized by Republicans in the next Congress. But in terms of making decisions about who's going to chair, what, and who will chair what subcommittees, who will be appointed to what subcommittees, I think all that's going to be delayed until that Georgia Senate race. Regardless of what happens with the presidential transition, the Georgia Senate race freeze things in the Senate quite a bit.

Jon Fansmith: I think it's sort of just reminding listeners, if you are not familiar with Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who is retiring, will be out of the Senate at the end of the session, Mushtaq touched on this, former secretary of education, former college president, former state superintendent of education, a man deeply immersed in education policy and somebody who's been obviously a very valued supporter of higher education in this country, someone we've worked with a lot. I noticed just while I was jumping to say that, both Mushtaq and Sarah, you look like you're about to make a point to follow up on what Terry said, so whichever one of you speaks quicker.

Sarah Spreitzer: I was going to say, obviously, if the Dems control the Senate, then we would be looking at ranking member Patty Murray likely taking the chairmanship, and she is obviously a big supporter of higher education. And I think with Senator Burr, he has some really great institutions of higher education in North Carolina. And if he is our chair, we could do worse. He has a good understanding of higher ed, at least from his work with his institutions in North Carolina.

Jon Fansmith: Obviously, one of the big things that that committee could be, or might be dealing with would be reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. Senator Alexander and Senator Murray had been in negotiations for years, and by all accounts, were making a lot of progress on what would be a bipartisan reauthorization. In the House, Bobby Scott, who's the chairman of the education policy committee, the education labor committee had passed his own bill out of committee, a comprehensive reauthorization. Do we think, and we'll go with the assumption that Republicans hold the Senate and Burr becomes chairman, that HEA reauthorization is something we'll see in the committee, that we might see on the floor in the next Congress?

Terry Hartle: No.

Jon Fansmith: Well, that ends that discussion. Thanks, Terry.

Terry Hartle: Look, Senator Alexander and Senator Murray are veteran legislators, they both have first-class staff. They both know the bill very well themselves. They probably got 90% of the way there and still couldn't get a bill through their committee. Even if they could have gotten a bill through the committee, getting it up on the Senate floor is another matter entirely. Yes, Congressman Scott did a very nice job pulling together a bill in his committee, but that didn't come up to the floor either. Remember that Democrats, if they want to bring a bill to the floor, will have to address all of the concerns that their members down the line have. They can't just count on the fact that they've got 30 or 40 seats there, and simply voted through and tell the folks who have a problem with something, "You can vote against it." It's not going to be easier to enact the legislation in a Biden administration than it has been in a Trump administration, or an Obama administration. I think we might be another decade before we see a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.

That's really regrettable because there are parts of the Higher Education Act that are clearly obsolete and need to be changed. But that's 1,000-page piece of legislation. Rewriting that requires some bipartisanship and a willingness to let the votes fall where they may, and that's not really precedent on Capitol Hill these days.

Jon Fansmith: We tend to talk about HEA re-authorization pretty offhand, we talk about it a lot. For people who are listening, the Higher Education Act is the primary piece of federal higher education legislation. It was first passed into law in 1965. And as Terry has talked about reauthorizing, we're talking about reauthorizing, that means the last time it was comprehensively changed was in 2008. And obviously, if you look at where higher education is now versus then, things have changed a great deal, so long overdue for some revisions. Terry very conclusively ended our speculation on Higher Education Act reauthorization. We'll move to maybe the next rounds of predictions. You touched on this a little bit, Terry, we do have a lame duck. Everybody's talking about the Biden administration, when they'll take, hold what they'll do, but Congress still has a few months to wrap up some business. What are we seeing for the lame duck? What do you think the impact for higher ed will be?

Terry Hartle: Well, the only thing that they have to do in the lame duck session is take care of the federal agency budgets. Federal spending for all agencies expires on December 11th. If they don't extend the spending authority, all of the agencies would close on December 12th, but nobody wants that. I think Congress will try as best they can to kick the can down the road. They may not make final spending decisions for the current fiscal year, but they will make spending decisions for the current fiscal year to ensure that the government does not close. I think the big question is whether or not they'll be able to attach a COVID supplemental spending bill to the extension of spending authority for federal agencies. They have been working on another COVID supplemental spending bill. I think it's actually the fifth bill since early summer. They did not get there. They got close, if you are talking about the negotiations between The White House and the House Democrats. They didn't get close if you're talking about the negotiations between Senate Republicans and House Democrats.

Jon Fansmith: And Senate Republicans in The White House, for that matter.

Terry Hartle: The question is, can they agree on a top-line number? The House Democrats have said all along, they want $2.2 or $2.4 trillion. Republicans have apparently been everywhere from $500 billion to $1.8 trillion. There are some policy differences like a pandemic liability protection for employers, that don't have significant financial implications for the federal government, but that still need to be bridged. There's a lot that they're going to have to get passed. And once again, with bipartisanship and goodwill, they would get passed. But bipartisanship and goodwill are two things that are seen in Washington these days about as often as the Easter bunny. And so we're really going into an important period, especially with these COVID cases increasing almost exponentially, the implications that it's going to have for healthcare systems and the economy, that we really need a functioning federal government and we really don't have one right now.

Sarah Spreitzer: I would just add another piece of legislation that may be the last train out of town is going to be the National Defense Authorization Act. I know the staff had been working really hard to conference various issues between the House-passed and the Senate-passed bill. And that's often used as a vehicle too, to either attach a CR or perhaps, I don't know if they'd attach a COVID package, but that is another must-pass bill that I think that there'll be looking to The White House to sign before the end of the year.

Jon Fansmith: I'll just add in, in terms of the supplemental, the one I think positive sign that we've seen possibly because it looks like Republicans might retain the Senate going into the next year, but immediately after the elections, majority leader McConnell came out and said that passing a supplemental is a priority, and in fact, passing a supplemental before the end of the year was a top priority. It was widely reported that before the election, he was in a very different place and was delaying any agreement. So maybe there's some momentum there. Well, I think we've touched on everything we possibly can about the elections. Seeing some nods, some smiles. Not from Terry. Terry, you rarely smile at me. But I want to just thank everyone for coming on. It's obviously been a million things to ponder, and as I think people listening have probably picked up, there's still a lot of things to resolve, there's still a lot of uncertainty out there, and of course we'll be keeping track of all that and reporting it back to you who are listening. I just want to thank Terry, you especially, but Mushtaq and Sarah for joining again today, and appreciate all your insights.

Terry Hartle: Great. Thanks, Jon. Happy to be here.

Mushtaq Gunja: Thanks, Jon.

Sarah Spreitzer: Thanks, guys. Good to see you, even remotely.

Jon Fansmith: Thanks and goodbye everyone. To listen to earlier episodes and subscribe to dotEDU, you can find us on Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and wherever you get your podcasts. For show notes and links to resources mentioned in the episode, you can go to our website at acenet.edu/podcast. And you can also use our email podcast at acenet.edu, for suggestions, for upcoming shows or guests you'd like to see, or just thoughts on how we're doing. Before we go, I'd like to thank Carly O'Connell, Laurie Amston, Audrey Hamilton, and Malcolm Ward who are the exceptional producers of dotEDU, and make us sound as good as we do every episode. And finally, I'd like to thank you for listening.

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