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On the Hill: Build Back Better Negotiations Halt Again

Sen. Joe Manchin III (D.-W.Va.) on July 15 halted negotiations on a broader Build Back Better (BBB) Act for the second time. After nearly seven months of discussions with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Manchin again says he cannot support the human infrastructure bill’s tax and climate provisions.

Pathway forward for Democratic Health Priorities

Despite opposing a broader reconciliation bill, Manchin supports provisions to lower prescription drug prices by allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug companies and capping seniors’ out-of-pocket costs. Manchin also supports a provision to expand health care coverage by extending the advance premium tax credit for two years. Manchin also has stated he wants the legislation to include deficit reduction.

Democrats face a Sept. 30 deadline to pass the package under the budget reconciliation process, which allows them to move the bill forward with a majority vote.

Congressional Action on FY 2023 Appropriations

In the coming weeks, Congress will move forward on fiscal year (FY) 2023 appropriations. Although leaders in both chambers have not yet agreed on top-line spending numbers, House lawmakers will vote this week on H.R. 8294, a six-bill FY 2023 appropriations minibus that does not include the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations.

This Week in Congress

Both the House of Representatives and Senate are in session this week.

The House Oversight Committee’s Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis will hold a July 19 hearing titled, “Understanding and Addressing Long COVID and Its Health and Economic Consequences.”

The House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on Energy and Commerce will hold a July 19 hearing titled, “Roe Reversal: The Impacts of Taking Away the Constitutional Right to an Abortion.”

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About the Author

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

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