The Senate this week held an unsuccessful cloture vote on the House-passed continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government through Dec. 3 and extend the debt limit through December 2022. All Senate Republicans voted against the measure.
Republicans countered with a vote to fund the government without extending the debt limit, but the measure failed.
The chamber remains in a stalemate, leaving congressional leaders little time to reach a consensus on government funding to avoid an Oct. 1 shutdown.
Work Continues on Infrastructure Packages
The House this week began debate on a bipartisan physical infrastructure bill, with the aim of holding a vote Sept. 30 — the day before the federal government is set to shut down and key surface transportation authorizations expire. The Senate passed the bill in August; it includes $550 billion in new spending.
Meanwhile, the House Committee on the Budget, in a rare Saturday mark up, approved the Build Back Better Act, the House “human infrastructure” reconciliation legislation. The bill encompasses text produced by several House committees. However, House leadership indicated the version passed by the Budget Committee is not final; significant changes are expected as negotiations continue.
To that end, House and Senate Democrats and the Biden administration are developing a framework for the final reconciliation bill that can appease both progressives and moderate caucus members. The framework aims to reflect consensus on top-line spending numbers; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pledged the final cost will remain under $3.5 trillion.
Unity among the party is critical for passage of the reconciliation bill, as Democrats can only afford to lose three votes.
Hybrid Hearing on Public Health Infrastructure
The House Committee on Oversight and Reform Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis will hold a Sept. 29 hearing on public health infrastructure. The hybrid hearing will be held both in-person and virtually; lawmakers will examine public health departments’ challenges in responding to the pandemic and ways to strengthen the nation’s public health infrastructure.
Two House Committee on Education and Labor subcommittees will hold a joint hearing Sept. 28 examining successful models of protecting communities from COVID-19. The hearing will feature Chris Pernell, MD, MPH, chief strategic integration and health equity officer at association member University Hospital, in Newark, N.J.
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!