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On the Hill: Time Running Out on COVID-19 Negotiations

Congress will wrap up its August recess this week, returning to Washington next Tuesday to focus on spending legislation for fiscal year (FY) 2021, judicial nominations, and other must-pass legislative activities.

It is unclear whether Republican and Democratic leaders will reach consensus on another COVID-19 legislative package. Senate Republican leadership is pushing for a “skinny,” or piecemeal, COVID-19 package limited to a few big-ticket policies, including liability protections for employers and health care providers. Democratic leaders continue to reject this approach and instead have offered to decrease the overall dollar amount of their preferred comprehensive package by $1 trillion.

With the 2020 election on the horizon, opportunities are dwindling for negotiators to make an agreement and pass additional COVID-19 relief legislation. During this last week of state and district work periods, essential hospitals should contact their delegations and urge them to tell House and Senate leadership to expeditiously address essential hospital needs.


About the Author

Nikki Hurt is a manager of legislative affairs at America's Essential Hospitals.

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