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On the Hill: CBO Score Expected on ‘Human Infrastructure’ Bill

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Friday is expected to release a full score of the Build Back Better Act, the $1.75 trillion “human infrastructure” package containing many of President Joe Biden’s social spending priorities.

The legislation includes language to lower prescription drug prices, increase the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage, extend Medicaid coverage for pregnant people up to 12 months postpartum, and permanently reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program, as well as other provisions of note for essential hospitals.

A group of moderate lawmakers pushed to delay a vote on the legislation until a CBO score shows whether it will increase the federal deficit. They committed to voting for the bill no later than this week. The House could remain in session over the weekend to consider the package after release of the CBO score.

Meanwhile, the Senate continues work behind the scenes on the Build Back Better Act. The chamber also plans to consider the National Defense Authorization Act, the annual defense spending legislation, and a measure to improve competitiveness with China.

The House and Senate will go on recess Nov. 22–29 in observance of Thanksgiving.

Deadline to Fund Government Approaches

It is unlikely bipartisan appropriators will reach an agreement to fund the federal government for fiscal year 2022 before the Dec. 3 deadline, congressional leaders indicate. Lawmakers instead could pass a continuing resolution the week after Thanksgiving to prevent a government shutdown. It is unclear how long such a measure would last.

Congress also must contend with raising the debt limit, though the ceiling might not be reached until early 2022.

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About the Author

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

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