[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 170 (Wednesday, September 3, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 52273-52275]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-20977]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

34 CFR Chapter VI

[Docket ID ED-2014-OPE-0124]


Negotiated Rulemaking Committee; Public Hearings

AGENCY: Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

ACTION: Intent to establish negotiated rulemaking committee.

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SUMMARY: We announce our intention to establish a negotiated rulemaking 
committee to prepare proposed regulations governing the Federal William 
D. Ford Direct Loan (Federal Direct Loan) Program authorized under 
Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA). The 
committee will include representatives of organizations or groups with 
interests that are significantly affected by the subject matter of the 
proposed regulations. We also announce two public hearings at which 
interested parties may suggest additional issues that should be 
considered for action by the negotiating committee. In addition, we 
announce that the Department will accept written comments regarding 
additional issues that should be considered for action by the 
negotiating committee.

DATES: The dates, times, and locations of the public hearings are 
listed under

[[Page 52274]]

the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice. We must receive 
written comments suggesting issues that should be considered for action 
by the negotiating committee on or before November 4, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal 
or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. We will not 
accept comments by fax or by email. To ensure that we do not receive 
duplicate copies, please submit your comments only once. In addition, 
please include the Docket ID at the top of your comments.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov to 
submit your comments electronically. Information on using 
Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing agency documents, 
submitting comments, and viewing the docket is available on the site 
under ``Are you new to the site?''
     Postal Mail, Commercial Delivery, or Hand Delivery. If you 
mail or deliver your comments about these proposed regulations, address 
them to Wendy Macias, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., 
Room 8017, Washington, DC 20006.

    Privacy Note: The Department's policy is to make all comments 
received from members of the public (including those comments 
submitted by mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery) available 
for public viewing in their entirety on the Federal eRulemaking 
Portal at www.regulations.gov. Therefore, commenters should be 
careful to include in their comments only information that they wish 
to make publicly available.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information about the public 
hearings, go to http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/2015/index.html or contact: Wendy Macias, U.S. Department of Education, 
1990 K Street NW., Room 8017, Washington, DC 20006. Telephone: (202) 
502-7526 or by email: Wendy.Macias@ed.gov.
    For information about negotiated rulemaking in general, see The 
Negotiated Rulemaking Process for Title IV Regulations, Frequently 
Asked Questions at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/hea08/neg-reg-faq.html or contact: Wendy Macias, U.S. 
Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 8017, Washington, DC 
20006. Telephone: (202) 502-7526 or by email: Wendy.Macias@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or text 
telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) toll free at 1-
800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 492 of the HEA requires that, before 
publishing any proposed regulations to implement programs authorized 
under Title IV of the HEA, the Secretary obtain public involvement in 
the development of the proposed regulations. After obtaining advice and 
recommendations from the public, the Secretary conducts negotiated 
rulemaking to develop the proposed regulations. We announce our intent 
to develop proposed Title IV regulations by following the negotiated 
rulemaking procedures in section 492 of the HEA.
    We intend to select participants for the negotiated rulemaking 
committee from nominees of the organizations and groups that represent 
the interests significantly affected by the proposed regulations. To 
the extent possible, we will select from the nominees individual 
negotiators who reflect the diversity among program participants, in 
accordance with section 492(b)(1) of the HEA.

Regulatory Issues

    We intend to convene a committee to develop proposed regulations to 
allow more student borrowers of Federal Direct Loans to use the ``Pay 
as You Earn Repayment Plan'', in accordance with the Presidential 
Memorandum issued on June 9, 2014, (available at www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/06/09/presidential-memorandum-federal-student-loan-repayments). Section 1 of the memorandum directs the Secretary to 
issue, within one year, proposed regulations that expand the 
President's Pay as You Earn Repayment Plan to more Federal Direct Loan 
borrowers by allowing additional Federal Direct Loan borrowers to cap 
their Federal student loan payments at 10 percent of their income. The 
memorandum directs the Secretary to seek to target this option to those 
borrowers who would otherwise struggle to repay their loans, and to 
issue final regulations in a timely fashion after considering all 
public comments, as appropriate, with the goal of making the repayment 
option available to borrowers by December 31, 2015.
    After a complete review of the public comments presented at the 
public hearings and in the written submissions, we will publish a 
document (or documents) in the Federal Register announcing the specific 
subject areas for which we intend to establish a negotiated rulemaking 
committee, and a request for nominations for individual negotiators for 
the committee who represent the communities of interest that would be 
significantly affected by the proposed regulations.

Public Hearings

    We will hold two public hearings for interested parties to discuss 
the rulemaking agenda. The public hearings will be held:
     October 23, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. local time, 
at the U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Eighth Floor 
Conference Center, Washington, DC 20006.
     November 4, 2014, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. local time, at the 
Marriott Anaheim, 700 West Convention Way, Grand Ballroom E, Anaheim, 
CA 92802.
    Further information on the public hearing sites is available at 
http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/2015/index.html.
    Individuals who would like to present comments at the public 
hearings must register by sending an email to negreghearing@ed.gov. The 
email should include the name of the presenter along with the public 
hearing at which the individual would like to speak, and a general 
timeframe during which the individual would like to speak (for example, 
a presenter could indicate morning or afternoon, or before 11:00 a.m. 
or after 3:00 p.m.). We will attempt to accommodate each speaker's 
preference, but, if we are unable to do so, we will make the 
determination on a first-come first-served basis (based on the time and 
date the email was received). It is likely that each participant will 
be limited to five minutes. The Department will notify registrants of 
the location and time slot reserved for them. An individual may make 
only one presentation at the public hearings. If we receive more 
registrations than we are able to accommodate, the Department reserves 
the right to reject the registration of an entity or individual that is 
affiliated with an entity or individual that is already scheduled to 
present comments, and to select among registrants to ensure that a 
broad range of entities and individuals is allowed to present. We will 
accept walk-in registrations on the day of the hearing for any 
remaining time slots on a first-come first-served basis, beginning at 
8:30 a.m. at the Washington, DC hearing, and at 12:30 p.m. at the 
Anaheim, CA hearing.
    Registration is not required to observe the public hearings.
    Speakers may also submit written comments at the public hearings. 
In addition, the Department will accept written comments through 
November 4, 2014. (See the ADDRESSES sections of this notice for 
submission information.)

Schedule for Negotiations

    We anticipate that any committee established after the public 
hearings

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will begin negotiations in February 2015, with the committee meeting 
for up to three sessions of approximately three days each at roughly 
monthly intervals. The committee will meet in the Washington, DC area. 
The dates and locations of these meetings will be published in a 
subsequent document in the Federal Register, and will be posted on the 
Department's Web site at: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/2015/index.html.
    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, 
audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting Wendy Macias, U.S. Department 
of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 8017, Washington, DC 20006. 
Telephone: (202) 502-7526 or by email: Wendy.Macias@ed.gov.
    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free 
Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the 
Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System 
at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well 
as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF 
you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the 
site. You may also access documents of the Department published in the 
Federal Register by using the article search feature at: 
www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published 
by the Department.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1098a.

    Dated: August 28, 2014.
Lynn B. Mahaffie,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.
[FR Doc. 2014-20977 Filed 9-2-14; 8:45 am]
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