Take Stock: Federal Policy Watch

House and Senate in Session; Partial Government Shutdown Remains in Effect Both the House and Senate were in session this week as the partial government shutdown remains in effect. Senate Democrats continued to block action on a Middle East policy bill, but a privileged motion offered by Minority Leader Schumer (D-NY) to disapprove the Trump administration’s decision to lift certain Russia sanctions moved forward with bipartisan support. Senate Republicans are attending the conference’s retreat today…
House New Leadership Updates On Jan. 9, eight Democratic members were added to the House Energy and Commerce Committee: Reps. Nanette Diaz Barragan (CA), Robin Kelly (IL), Marc Veasey (TX), Tom O’Halleran (AZ), Darren Soto (FL), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE), Ann McLane Kuster (NH) and Don McEachin (VA). House Budget Chair Asks CBO to Study Single-Payer Policy Considerations On Jan. 8, House Budget committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-KY) sent a letter to the Congressional Budget Office…
116th Congress Convenes The 116th Congress convened last Thursday afternoon with Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) winning her bid for a second stint as Speaker of the House. Under the new Democratic majority, the House passed a pair of Senate-passed bills to fund through September 30 all departments and agencies closed in the partial shutdown, with the exception of the Department of Homeland Security, which would be funded through February 8. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)…
Federal Updates Download our 2019 Congressional calendar The partial government shutdown continues, affecting the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Interior, State, Transportation, and Housing & Urban Development. The shutdown is going on day 19. The House rules package, approved on the first day of the 116th Congress, changed the House Education & Workforce Committee’s name to the House Education & Labor Committee. The Senate HELP Committee will have three new members for the 116th Congress: Senator Mitt…
This Week: Happy New Year! The 116th Congress begins and healthcare issues are part of the “buzz” of day one. Part of the government is still closed. Government Shutdown Update: The shutdown does not impact CMS. However, the FDA is one of the agencies affected. The House of Representatives voted on Jan. 3 to fund the remaining portions of the government impacted by the shutdown, but that legislation is not expected to be considered by the Senate,…
Partial Government Shutdown The partial government shutdown entered its 13th day this morning amid the standoff between the President and Congress over his request for $5 billion to build a border wall. As a result, nine departments and dozens of agencies and other entities are largely closed with hundreds of thousands of federal workers furloughed. On Wednesday, bipartisan congressional leaders went to the White House for a border security briefing but did not make any progress towards…
On Dec. 14, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor declared the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional. The case, Texas v. Azaar, was brought earlier this year, arguing that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling of the law as consitutional relied on Congress’ power to tax, and the designation of the penalty for the individual mandate as a tax. However, Congress has since removed the penalty for the individual mandate, allowing the plaintiffs to argue that the invididual mandate…
This Week: To shut down or not to shut down the issue as Congress tries to wrap up and leave; opioids back in the news; Alexander says he will not run for reelection in 2020. House House Adds Border Security and Disaster Aid to Senate Continuing Resolution After the Senate passed a continuing resolution to fund the government until Feb.8, the President announced he would not sign it. The House then voted 217-185 to send the…
Continuing Resolution The White House and Congress spent the early part of the week negotiating the parameters of an end of year spending package that would avert a partial government shutdown at midnight on Friday. The negotiations focused on the President’s strong desire for $5 billion to build a border wall. On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced a clean continuing resolution (CR) extending current funding levels for upwards of seven departments and agencies (among…
This Week: The Affordable Care Act was found unconstitutional, but nothing will change as it winds through the courts. As the 115th Congress comes to a close, last-minute bills are introduced, some healthcare legislation passed and CBO releases its biannual book of ideas to reduce the deficit. It is unclear if the government will shut down or not; the continuing resolution runs out on the 21st. House House Passes Medicaid Package, Includes Senate Drug Misclassification Bill…