This week, both chambers of Congress return from the Memorial Day recess with a packed legislative agenda to complete before the Fourth of July holiday.
The recent mass shootings in Buffalo, N.Y., and Uvalde, Texas, and at St. Francis Health System, in Tulsa, Okla., have fueled outrage and congressional action on gun-related violence in America. In a May 25 statement on the Uvalde shootings, America’s Essential Hospitals said, ” We mourn the terrible loss of life…and join others in the health care community in an urgent call for action to improve gun safety and reduce gun violence as necessary measures to protect public health.”
Gun-related legislative work joins the crowded field of legislative priorities and complicates other bipartisan legislative efforts in the near term.
Human Infrastructure Package Conversations Continue
In December 2021, the House-passed Build Back Better Act, a $1.75 trillion ‘human infrastructure’ spending package, was shot down by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). Since then, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D- N.Y.) has worked behind the scenes to negotiate a bill Manchin would support.
Democrats must pass a bill before Sept. 30 or lose the bill’s 50-vote privileged status. While there is considerable pressure to pass something, given the looming expiration of Affordable Care Act subsidies and a desire to deliver drug pricing and other reforms before the November midterm elections, there are still significant fissures among Democrats on scope and size.
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