Health Policy Report (9/19)

House and Senate lawmakers will resume legislative business today as negotiations on a continuing resolution (CR) continue. In particular, discussions at the leadership level are likely to focus on reaching agreements on items that could potentially be added onto the stopgap, including energy permitting reforms and reauthorization of several user fee agreements at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Both of these proposals will require bipartisan cooperation to ensure that the CR can pass the Senate with a filibuster-proof majority — a factor that could prolong the talks into the final days leading up to the September 30 deadline. Meanwhile, members of the House Freedom Caucus have coalesced behind a strategy spearheaded by three GOP senators — including Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) — in opposing a CR through mid-December. Instead, the Republican lawmakers have been pushing for a “clean” funding bill that maintains current federal spending levels until the new Congress begins in 2023

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Health Policy Report (9/12)

House lawmakers will return tomorrow to kick off the September work period. According to a “Dear Colleague” letter from Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), leadership could file a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government into mid-December for a vote prior to the end of the week. However, disagreements over policy riders — including the White House’s $47.1 billion supplemental funding request and energy permitting reforms — could shift the timing on this vote. In addition to the stopgap funding bill, lawmakers are slated to consider three bills out of the Oversight and Reform Committee that pertain to: (1) improving federal whistleblower protections (H.R. 2988); (2) modifying certain census bureau authorities to promote accuracy and fairness (H.R. 8326); and (3) prohibiting executive agency positions in the competitive service from being placed in the excepted service (H.R. 302). In the upper chamber, senators will be in session this afternoon to resume consideration of pending judicial nominations.

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