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On the Hill: Cures Passes Committee, Congress in Recess

Both chambers of Congress are in recess this week in recognition of Memorial Day.

Last week, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce unanimously approved its 21st Century Cures legislation. The package would increase funding for the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration. After substantial lobbying by America’s Essential Hospitals and its members, the package does not include any provisions related to the 340B Drug Pricing Program. The committee originally intended to include an amendment that would have weakened the program. And though America’s Essential Hospitals worked with committee staff to improve the amendment, it remained potentially problematic. After the association released a statement opposing the revised amendment, the committee confirmed it would not include it in the package. Parts of the package will now likely go to other House committees for review. A floor vote has not yet been scheduled.

The Senate wrapped up last week by approving a trade bill. Senators will return early from recess to discuss National Security Administration surveillance programs and then will turn their attention to defense, education, and appropriations measures.

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