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CHIP Moves Forward in House and Senate Committees

On Wednesday, both the Senate Finance Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee moved their version of a CHIP reauthorization. The Senate bill sponsored by Senate Finance Chair Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the Keeping Kids’ Insurance Dependable and Secure (KIDS) Act (S. 1827), would extend CHIP for five years

Budget Resolution Slams Spending and Programs and Opens Tax Fast-Track

The two 2018 budget resolutions adopted in the House and Senate Committees have two broad themes: larger tax reductions and larger budget cuts. The budget resolutions are different in the extent of their cuts with the House version being much grander in its mandatory and entitlement cuts and its cuts to the annual appropriations. Their

Home Visiting Approved by House, Waiting on Senate

Now that the House has acted on their version of a home visiting reauthorization (the Increasing Opportunity and Success for Children and Parents through Evidence-Based Home Visiting Act (H.R. 2824)), and the Senate has their version of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, (the Strong Families Act of 2017), advocates are strategizing how to extend

Administration Seeks $29 Billion in Disaster Funds

The Administration is seeking $29 billion in emergency/disaster relief funds. Of the total $16 billion will replenish the disaster insurance fund. The rest is mainly for Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, with approximately a half billion to address wildfires in the west. House Republican conservatives are demanding offsets, but that is unlikely to gather total conservative

Next: Tax Cuts and Budget Resolution On Fast Track

Last week Congressional Republicans released an outline of their tax reform proposal for 2017. They hope to move the package on a fast track both in process and time. The process part is that they will try and use a new 2018 budget resolution and reconciliation tool to fast track the legislation through the Senate

Graham-Cassidy Bill has Serious Shot at Passage

The Senate is expected to vote on the Graham-Cassidy-Johnson-Heller Medicaid block grant/per capita cap this week, with shifting odds of passage. Over the weekend, more questions than answers were being raised about its prospects, especially after Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said on Friday that he could not vote for the bill yet due to the

Home Visiting Gets Boost from Senate

On Tuesday, September 19, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced the “Strong Families Act of 2017,” reauthorizing the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV). The legislation was also co-sponsored by Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Bob Casey (D-PA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH). It

Budget Resolution and Tax Cuts

Around the same time that the latest repeal of the ACA was gaining traction, Senate leaders lead by Budget Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN) indicated that Republican leadership had come to an agreement on a budget resolution for 2018. The budget resolution is significant in that it could clear the way for a fast track

Implications Of Short Term Budget-Debt Deal

Last weeks’ presidential-congressional agreement on a December 8, extension of the debt ceiling and FY 2018 appropriations has both political as well as practical effects. For starters FEMA receives some much-needed immediate funds to help address the hurricanes.  The nearly $15 billion is just a down payment and will have to be addressed again very

HELP Chair Wants Small Bipartisan ACA Fix This Week

  On Wednesday, September 6 the Senate HELP Committee began an initial series of four hearings over two weeks.  Chairman Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) struck a strong bipartisan note at the beginning of the hearing indicating that he wanted to find a basic quick bipartisan fix for some key issues and have an agreement together