This week, Congress will continue working to finalize the fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget resolution. A vote on a bicameral agreement is expected before the end of the week. While Congress is technically behind schedule – federal rules call for a final budget by April 15 of each year – this would be the first time Congress has passed a joint budget resolution since 2010. The House is also beginning appropriations work early this year, with plans to bring two FY 2016 spending bills – focused on the military and energy and water – to the floor this week. Spending bills for FY 2016 must be completed by Sept. 30 to keep the government running.
In committee business, both the House and Senate will begin to consider medical innovation legislation, also known as the 21st Century Cures package, which aims to boost innovation in medical treatment, products, and research, among other priorities. The Senate Committee on Health, Education and Labor held a hearing today on this topic and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on this topic on Thursday.
The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will hold a hearing on Wednesday to review the Government Accountability Office’s report that identifies potential risks associated with new requirements intended to improve medical treatment for veterans.