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The U.S. Senate education committee’s top Democrat, Patty Murray, threw some cold water yesterday on Senator Lamar Alexander’s hope of reaching a deal on reauthorizing the Higher Education Act by the end of this month.

Alexander, the Republican chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, had said he hoped to get a bill out of the panel by the end of March in order for it to have time to pass the entire Congress by the end of the year.

But asked about that goal Tuesday, Murray said, "I think that's going to be difficult to do. But we are working on trying to get an agreement."

Murray wouldn’t comment on one of the main obstacles to a deal: finding a bipartisan compromise to block the controversial rule U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is expected to issue soon that will change requirements on how campuses deal with allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

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