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On the Hill: Advancing Infrastructure Bills before August Recess

Following a two-week break, lawmakers are refocused on developing infrastructure legislation before the next recess.

The Senate is working to turn its $1.2 trillion infrastructure framework into legislation that can secure 60 votes. The framework includes $579 billion in new spending.

Simultaneously, congressional Democrats and the Biden administration are laying the groundwork for a partisan “human infrastructure” package that would advance under the budget reconciliation legislative process, bypassing the need for Republican buy-in. Democrats intend to use budget reconciliation to pass infrastructure priorities related to education, climate change, and health care. The health care provisions could address prescription drug pricing and expanded health coverage.

Congress must approve a budget resolution before lawmakers can craft budget reconciliation legislation. The budget resolution will set forth which committees will draft the reconciliation legislation and the top-line spending targets they must meet.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) aims to hold a vote on a bipartisan physical infrastructure bill, as well as a budget resolution to begin the process of advancing a human infrastructure package, before the chamber adjourns for its August recess.

Notable Hearings This Week

The House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education, and Related Agencies convened July 12 for a markup on the fiscal year 2022 HHS proposed budget. The budget plan could go to the full committee for a vote as early as this week.

The Senate Committee on Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition, Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights will hold a July 13 hearing to examine anticompetitive conduct in prescription drug markets.

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About the Author

Christina Fagnano is the legislative affairs associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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