Posturing, panicking and backpedaling and, of course, politicking -- all of those were in ample supply Wednesday as lobbyists, lawmakers and other players prepared for today's House of Representatives debate over legislation to renew the Higher Education Act.
Developments were fast and furious on an array of fronts. Among the most significant:
A year after Education Secretary Margaret Spellings abandoned plans to propose new federal rules governing higher education accreditation, under heavy pressure from members of Congress, the Education Department is reportedly contemplating issuing such regulations when legislation to renew the Higher Education Act becomes law. That possibility is being met with astonishment by college leaders and many on Capitol Hill, who describe it as both practically difficult and politically foolhardy.