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On the Hill: Bill to Fund Government Sees Progress, but Obstacles Remain

Bipartisan work on a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government through mid-December saw agreement last week on a policy rider to reauthorize U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) user fee programs. But obstacles remain to final legislation that will avert a government shutdown when the current fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

Despite the deal on FDA user fees, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) still officially opposes riders on the CR. The CR also is expected to include additional money for Ukraine and natural disaster relief. A permitting reform proposal by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) remains unresolved.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has scheduled a cloture vote (60-vote threshold) on the motion to proceed to the legislative vehicle for the CR Tuesday. At least 10 Republicans will need to vote for the motion to advance the process.

Mental Health Legislation

On Thursday, Sept. 22, Senate Committee on Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) unveiled a discussion draft to expand the mental health workforce to help more Americans access the care they need. This marks the third mental health discussion draft the committee has issued.

This Week in Congress

In observance of Rosh Hashanah, the House is out of session on Monday and Tuesday. The Senate is out on Monday but gavels in on Tuesday afternoon for an important vote on the motion to proceed to the legislative vehicle for the CR.

On Thursday, Sept. 28, the House Committee on Oversight will hold a hearing titled, “Examining the Harm to Patients from Abortion Restrictions and the Threat of a National Abortion Ban.”

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About the Author

Margaret French is the manager of legislative affairs at America's Essential Hospitals.

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