Congress has adjourned for the Thanksgiving recess and will be back in session Monday, Nov. 30. Congressional staff continue to negotiate the omnibus appropriations package, which dodged a major political hurdle last week when congressional leaders vowed to keep debate about allowing Syrian refugees into the United States separate from the appropriations discussion. The package is expected to be voted on before the current continuing resolution funding the federal government expires Dec. 11.
In committee business, Senate Committee on Finance ranking member Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) last week sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell requesting an update on 1332 State Innovation Waivers. Wyden authored the Affordable Care Act’s 1332 provision, which waives many of the law’s requirements if a state can show its alternative program provides comparable access and affordability and does not add to the federal deficit. States will be able to apply for 1332 waivers in 2017.