Today on the Hill: Senate Dems to Force Vote on Health Waivers

Senate Democrats are set to force a vote on a measure they contend is a referendum on GOP support for pre-existing conditions protections. The Congressional Review Act resolution would overturn the Trump administration’s guidance on “State Relief and Empowerment Waivers” under section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — a policy that Democrats argue undermines access to care for patients with pre-existing conditions. While the resolution only needs a simple majority to pass, it is unlikely to clear the upper chamber absent support from GOP Senators.

Following the vote on the resolution, Senators will vote on a motion to invoke cloture and end debate on a four-bill minibus containing fiscal year (FY) 2020 spending bills for Agriculture, Interior-Environment, Commerce-Science-Justice, and Transportation-HUD. If cloture is invoked, a vote on final passage of the Senate’s first spending package will occur tomorrow.

In the House, lawmakers will begin consideration of a pair of bills out of the Natural Resources Committee. This includes a bill aimed at protecting the watershed, ecosystem, and cultural heritage of the Grand Canyon region in Arizona, as well as legislation that would provide for the designation of certain wilderness, recreational management, and conservation areas in Colorado. Both measures are expected to clear the lower chamber later this afternoon.