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Obama Taps Horwich to Head Up Edu-Congressional Affairs

President Barack Obama has nominated Julius Lloyd Horwich, currently the deputy assistant secretary for legislative and congressional affairs at the U.S. Department of Education, to serve as assistant secretary for that office. This wouldn't be an entirely new role. Horwich has been acting in the position for quite some time.

The department, like other agencies, is going through a host of personnel changes as the Obama administration draws to a close, but Horwich is one of the few top aides who has been around since 2009, the president's first year in office. He started as deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs. And he's a familiar figure to anyone who has ever attended a congressional hearing on education.

Before coming to the department, Horwich worked on Capitol Hill, serving as education counsel and policy advisor to Democrats on the House panel overseeing K-12 education, from 2004 to 2009. And he was the director of federal relations for the University of Pennsylvania from 2003 to 2004. He also worked on education policy as a U.S. Senate aide.

Congress is typically slow to confirm executive branch appointments, and some say lawmakers have been particularly sluggish when it comes to Obama appointees, so it's unclear if Horwich will ever get the official assistant secretary title. But either way, he'll have a busy year as lawmakers work towards rewriting the No Child Left Behind Act and the Higher Education Act.

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