Congress last week passed a continuing resolution (CR) to prevent a government shutdown and maintain current funding levels through Feb. 18, 2022.
The CR does not include provisions to extend the suspension of the 2 percent Medicare sequester cut or waive the additional 4 percent Medicare sequester cut triggered by a provision of the American Rescue Plan Act. Lawmakers must act this month to avoid the cuts, which are slated to begin in 2022.
Senate Maintains Focus on Build Back Better Act, Debt Limit Legislation
Senators continue to work behind the scenes to modify the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act. Lawmakers continue to meet with the Senate parliamentarian to determine which provisions of the House-passed bill comply with the stringent rules of the budget reconciliation process. Reports indicate the parliamentarian this week will consider many of the health care provisions, which should clarify what to expect in final legislative language. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) intends to hold a vote on the Build Back Better Act before Christmas.
Also this month, the Senate must contend with two other must-pass legislative issues: annual defense appropriations and the debt limit. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said Congress must act by Dec. 15 to prevent a government debt default. Lawmakers are adding additional legislative days to their calendar to achieve policy goals by the end of the year.
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