The House this week is expected to consider a continuing resolution (CR) to temporarily extend current funding levels for the federal government, possibly through early December.
The CR likely will include supplemental emergency funding to address recent hurricanes and other natural disasters, as well as funding for the resettlement of refugees from Afghanistan.
In addition, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced their intent to suspend the debt limit as part of the CR. Congressional Republicans continue to reject a debt limit increase, complicating the legislative path forward for Democrats.
Government funding runs out at midnight Sept. 30, giving lawmakers a clear deadline for action. Absent congressional action, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen indicated the federal government in mid to late October will implement emergency measures to reduce spending.
House Committees Continue Budget Reconciliation Work
Last week, the House committees on Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means finished marking up their portions of a “human infrastructure” reconciliation package and sent their approved measures to the Committee on the Budget.
Of importance to essential hospitals, the Energy and Commerce Committee’s work includes a provision to provide $10 billion in funding for hospital construction and modernization. Prescription drug pricing provisions did not receive enough votes to clear the committee. Three of the panel’s moderate Democrats voted against the measure, yielding a 29–29 tie that precluded committee passage. However, similar drug pricing provisions were approved by the Ways and Means Committee. The committee process shows progressive and moderate Democrats remain divided on how to approach prescription drug pricing reforms.
The Budget Committee now will compile all sections into one bill. Meanwhile, House leaders face pressure to bring the bipartisan infrastructure bill to the floor by Pelosi’s stated Sept. 27 goal.
Congressional Hearing on Pediatric COVID-19
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a Sept. 22 hearing on the impact of COVID-19 on children.
Fall Policy Assembly
America’s Essential Hospitals invites you to join us online for our fall Policy Assembly, Oct. 19–20. Attendees will gain insights on the status of the reconciliation legislation and the outlook for essential hospital advocacy priorities for the remainder of the year. Register today!