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On the Hill: Details Scarce as Federal Funding Debate Continues

Both chambers of Congress continue work on short-term legislation expected to extend government funding until mid-December, but congressional leaders have yet to reach a deal and are holding closely the details of their negotiations.

The Senate must address the agreement Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) struck with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) in exchange for Manchin’s vote for the Inflation Reduction Act — a guaranteed vote on a bill that streamlines the approval of fossil fuel and renewable energy projects. Government funding runs out at midnight Sept. 30, the end of the current fiscal year.

Last week, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee marked up and passed five bills out of committee. Following the mark-up, the full House voted on and passed by voice vote the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act of 2021 (H.R. 3173). The bill now heads to the Senate, where there is companion legislation.

Meanwhile, the House Committee on Ways and Means released a report detailing the role the U.S. health care system plays in the climate crisis and held a full committee hearing Sept. 15 to discuss how Congress can support the health care system’s work to improve climate resiliency and mitigate its carbon footprint.

Also last week, America’s Essential Hospitals joined 375 other organizations in signing a multistakeholder letter to the Senate urging action on telehealth legislation this fall to provide additional certainty and clarity for providers. The House passed the Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act (H.R. 4040) with a bipartisan margin of 416-12 to extend telehealth flexibility by two years.

This Week in Congress

Both the House and Senate are in session this week. On Tuesday, Sept. 20, the House Committee on Ways and Means will mark up seven bills pertaining to resolutions of inquiry and Social Security.

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About the Author

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

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