President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed a $1.5 trillion fiscal year 2022 spending package. Last week, the House passed the measure with a 260–171 vote, and the Senate passed it by a 68–31 margin.
Further, Congress passed — and Biden signed — a four-day continuing resolution to continue current funding levels and provide more time for the omnibus spending measure to move forward.
The omnibus bill does not include Biden’s request of $15 billion in funding for COVID-19 preparedness nor provider-related relief. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says lawmakers are working on separate COVID-19 funding legislation, though Democrats have not yet determined how to pay for such a bill. Moderate lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have raised concerns about additional COVID-19 relief with a means to pay for it. While the bill is not on the House calendar, leadership has indicated a COVID-19 relief measure could be brought to a vote in the House as early as this week.
Hearings of Note
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions will hold a March 15 hearing to consider The Prepare for and Respond to Existing Viruses, Emerging New Threats, and Pandemics Act (PREVENT Pandemics Act, S. 3799).
The Senate Committee on Finance will hold a March 16 hearing to examine prescription drug price inflation with a focus on Medicare.
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce health subcommittee will hold a March 17 hearing on bills related to innovation and oversight for the future of medicine.