Today on the Hill: House Readies Stopgap Funding Bill for Floor Time

House lawmakers will resume legislative business today as members eye action on government funding. The House Rules Committee is slated to meet later today to craft the rule that will govern debate for a continuing resolution (CR) that would fund the government through Nov. 21. Additional details on the House CR remain unclear, as lawmakers are still jostling for certain legislative priorities — including extensions for expiring Medicare and Medicaid programs, as well as increased funding for payments to farmers impacted by tariffs — to be tacked on to the bill.

 

This Week on the Hill: Lawmakers Eye Stopgap Funding Bill to Avert Sept. 30 Deadline

Congress will reconvene this week to continue work on several key funding priorities. As the Sept. 30 government funding deadline approaches, House Democrats are expected to queue up a continuing resolution (CR) for consideration as negotiators jostle to avoid another lapse in funding. The upper chamber is expected to take up the CR shortly thereafter, yet it remains to be seen whether the two sides can avoid disagreements over certain funding extensions, as well as how long the stopgap measure will fund the government. 

 

Health Policy Report (9/16)

The Week in Review

Lawmakers returned from the August recess last week, diving into a high-profile legislative blitz to clear pressing government funding deadlines. The push to fund the federal government through fiscal year (FY) 2020 got off to a rocky start, however, as the Senate Appropriations Committee postponed its scheduled markup of the Labor-HHS-Education bill amid partisan disagreements over policy riders. Democrats wanted to offer an amendment to the Labor-HHS-Education bill to bar the Trump administration from implementing its Title X family planning rule — a move that prompted Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) to delay consideration of the bill while both sides iron out their differences on controversial provisions. 

 

Next Week on the Hill: House Tees Up Stopgap Funding Resolution

Congress has wrapped up legislative business for the week and will reconvene next week to continue work on pressing government funding deadlines. As the Sept. 30 deadline approaches, House Democrats are expected to queue up a continuing resolution (CR) for consideration as negotiators jostle to avoid another lapse in funding. The upper chamber is expected to take up the CR shortly thereafter, yet it remains to be seen whether the two sides can avoid disagreements over certain funding extensions, as well as how long the stopgap measure will fund the government. Meanwhile, the Senate Appropriations Committee is slated to resume its work on FY 2020 spending bills next week, including the funding measures for Financial Services and General Government (FSGG), Transportation-Housing and Urban Development, and Military Construction-Veterans Affairs.

 

Today on the Hill: Senate Approps Process Iced Over Partisan Disputes

The Senate’s push to fund the federal government through fiscal year (FY) 2020 got off to a rocky start yesterday, as the Senate Appropriations Committee postponed its scheduled markup of the Labor-HHS-Education bill amid partisan disagreements over policy riders. Democrats were prepared to offer an amendment to the Labor-HHS-Education bill that would bar the Trump administration from implementing its Title X family planning rule — a move that prompted Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) to delay the subcommittee markup while both sides iron out their differences on “poison pill” provisions. The two sides have also yet to strike an agreement on 302(b) allocation levels, reinforcing the need for a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through mid-November or early December.

 

Today on the Hill: NC Voters Head to Polls for Bellwether Special Election

Voters in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District will head to the polls today for a highly-anticipated special election after the 2018 race was marred by credible allegations of election fraud. Democrat Dan McCready — who was also the 2018 nominee — will face off against NC State Rep Dan Bishop in a tossup race that will be closely watched as a possible indicator for the 2020 election. Elsewhere in the Tar Heel State, voters in the 3rd Congressional District will also head to the polls for a special election to replace the late Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC). GOP State Rep. Greg Murphy is expected to knock off former Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas in this safe Republican district.

 

This Week on the Hill: Lawmakers Return for Busy September Session

Congress is set to return to action today as lawmakers gear up for a high-profile legislative blitz to close out 2019. Government funding will be a top priority for legislators when both chambers gavel in as lawmakers have 13 just legislative days to avert another government funding lapse. While the Senate Appropriations Committee plans to begin marking up measures on Thursday — tackling bills for Defense, Labor-HHS-Education, Energy-Water, and State-Operations — it's likely that both chambers will need to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to extend funding beyond Sept. 30, allowing negotiators to hammer out broader agreement for fiscal year (FY) 2020. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) stated late last week that the House will vote on a stopgap funding bill during the week of Sept. 16.

 

Health Policy Report (9/9)

The Week Ahead

Congress is set to return to action today as lawmakers gear up for a high-profile legislative blitz to close out 2019. Government funding will be a top priority for legislators when both chambers gavel in as the Sept. 30 funding deadline looms. While the Senate Appropriations Committee plans to begin marking up measures next Thursday — tackling bills for Defense, Labor-HHS-Education, Energy-Water and State-Operations — it's likely that both chambers will need to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to extend funding beyond the Sept. 30 deadline, allowing negotiators to hammer out broader agreement that averts another potential government shutdown. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) stated late last week that the House will vote on a stopgap funding bill during the week of Sept. 16.

 

Health Policy Report (9/3)

Johnson & Johnson Ordered to Pay for Role in Opioid Epidemic

Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman released a decision last Monday declaring Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals played a punishable role in the opioid crisis. He ordered Johnson & Johnson pay more than $572 million based on public nuisance claims to account for “misleading” opioid marketing and promotion practices. His decision determined that these practices compromised the health and safety of thousands of Oklahoma residents and contributed to increased rates of additional and overdose deaths. Johnson & Johnson has already promised to appeal the “highly flawed” judgment.

 

Health Policy Report (8/26)

Trump Administration Proposes Changes to Part 2 Privacy Rules

Last Thursday, the Trump administration released a much-anticipated rule which proposes updates to the consent requirements governing the release of patient information for individuals seeking treatment for substance use disorder. The rule, developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is designed to address barriers to care coordination for providers that treat individuals with substance use disorder (SUD), while maintaining privacy safeguards for patients seeking treatment for SUD. During a call with reporters, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar acknowledged that the administration does not have the authority to fully align the 42 CFR Part 2 (or Part 2) rules with the more general consent requirements in the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) – a change sought by many Members of Congress and stakeholders.