Health Policy Report

The Week in Review

A busy week in Washington came to a close as the House wrapped up its work last Friday on an appropriations “minibus” (H.R. 5895) that would authorize FY 2019 funding for Energy and Water Development, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, and Legislative Branch (MilCon-VA) appropriations. House GOP leadership also worked to move forward with a White House plan to cut roughly $15 billion in leftover spending from the massive $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill passed earlier this year. Prior to its submission, the rescissions package (H.R. 3) was revised by the administration to withdraw proposed cuts from Federal Highway Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), while maintaining a $7 billion cut to leftover funding from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The measure cleared the lower chamber, however, the package faces long odds of approval in the Senate as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has signaled little interest in moving the Trump-backed proposal.

 

Today, Next Week on the Hill: House To Finish Work on Approps Bill; Congress Set to Tackle Immigration, Opioids, NDAA

A busy week in Washington comes to a close as the House seeks to wrap up its work today on an appropriations “minibus” (H.R. 5895) that would authorize FY 2019 funding for Energy and Water Development, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, and Legislative Branch (MilCon-VA) appropriations. When the lower chamber returns to work on Monday, the focus will shift toward legislation aimed at combating the opioid epidemic. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) indicated that the chamber is set to vote on a series of bills over the course of two weeks that seek to fight the epidemic in a variety of ways. The House currently has two opioid-focused bills listed for consideration next week, including: (1) a bill (H.R. 2851) that would amend the Controlled Substances Act to clarify how controlled substance analogues are regulated; and (2) a bill (H.R. 5735) that would facilitate more section 8 housing vouchers for supportive and transitional housing for individuals recovering from opioid use disorders.

 

Today on the Hill: House to Consider WH Rescissions Bill; Senate Continues Work on NDAA

Lawmakers are preparing for an active day in Washington today, as both the House and Senate look to advance a pair of major legislative initiatives. In the lower chamber, House GOP leadership will move forward with a White House plan to cut roughly $15 billion in leftover spending from the massive $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill passed earlier this year. Prior to its submission, the rescissions package (H.R. 3) was revised by the administration to withdraw proposed cuts from Federal Highway Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), while maintaining a $7 billion cut to leftover funding from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The measure is expected to clear the lower chamber today, however, the package faces long odds of approval in the Senate as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has signaled little interest in moving the Trump-backed proposal. Following a vote on rescissions bill, the House will move into consideration of an appropriations “minibus” (H.R. 5895) that would authorize FY 2019 funding for Energy and Water Development, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, and Legislative Branch (MilCon-VA) appropriations.

 

Today on the Hill: Primary Day in Eight States; House Returns to Tackle Natural Resources Suspension Bills

Both chambers of Congress will be in action today as the House returns from its week-long Memorial Day recess.  Prior to tackling high-profile legislative items such as the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) and the first FY 2019 appropriations “minibus” (H.R. 5895), the lower chamber will ease into its legislative work week with consideration of seven suspension bills out of the House Committee on Natural Resources. In the upper chamber, senators will continue their work on presidential nominations before moving to the more substantive part of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) to-do list. The Senate is slated to vote on the confirmation of  Robert Weir to be a district-level judge in Kentucky, followed by a vote to invoke cloture on the nomination of Fernando Rodriguez Jr. to be a district judge in Southern Texas.

 

This Week on the Hill: Congress Seeks to Check Off WRDA, NDAA; Voters in Eight States Head to the Polls

Congress returns after a week-long hiatus and will seek to check off a host of legislative priorities in an effort to clear the decks before the August recess. The Senate reconvenes today and will begin a work schedule that includes presidential nominations, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has filed cloture on three judicial nominations to be considered first, with a cloture vote expected this afternoon on the nomination of Robert Weir to be a district-level judge in Kentucky. The timing on consideration of both the NDAA and WRDA has yet to be decided, but could come as soon as late this week.

 

Next Week on the Hill: Congress Starts Work Period with WRDA; Dems Hope to Avoid Lockout in CA Primary

Congress starts a new month-long work period next week and is expected to continue hammering away at a set of legislative staples in an effort to clear the decks before the August recess. For the Senate, who will reconvene Monday, that entails work on presidential nominations, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has filed cloture on three judicial nominations to be considered first, with a cloture vote expected Monday afternoon on the nomination of Robert Weir to be a district-level judge in Kentucky. The timing on consideration of both the NDAA and WRDA has yet to be decided, but could come as soon as late next week.

 

Financial Services Report

Our Take

Loyal readers may recognize that the following is looks eerily similar to the “our take” from last year’s Memorial Day week newsletter.  And they would be right.  However, it still seems just as relevant today. 
 
May 29th, would have been the 101st birthday of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.   As we think about the true meaning of Memorial Day, we should pause to think about the following – which I am assuming is true, because you know, it’s on the Internet.  According to historian Michael Beschloss, these were to be the final words of a speech that the President was to give in Austin Texas on November 22, 1963

 

Health Policy Report

The Week in Review

In Congress, lawmakers in both chambers enjoyed a rare week of advancing bipartisan measures to the White House to be enacted into law. Two of those measures came from the House — namely a financial regulation reform bill (S. 2155) and “right-to-try” legislation (S. 204) — while the Senate pushed through the VA MISSION Act (S. 2372), a $55 billion authorization for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) that makes some structural reforms to its health care delivery. All three measures were passed with at least some support from the Democratic minority, although Democrat leaders had opposed both the financial regulatory reform and right-to-try bills. President Trump has already signed S. 2155 into law and is expected to follow suit with the other two measures in the coming days.

 

Today on the Hill: Congress Breaks for Memorial Day Recess

Both chambers have reached the Memorial Day recess following a busy week that saw three bills advance to the president’s desk to be signed into law. Two of those measures came from the House — namely a financial regulation reform bill (S. 2155) and “right-to-try” legislation (S. 204) — while the Senate pushed through the VA MISSION Act (S. 2372), a $55 billion authorization for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs that makes some structural reforms to its health care delivery. All three measures were passed with at least some support from the Democratic minority, although Democrat leaders had opposed both the financial regulatory reform and right-to-try bills. President Trump has already signed S. 2155 into law and is expected to follow suit with the other two measures in the coming days.