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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

HELP Committee on Opioids: For Every Overdose There are 60 Addicts

Last Thursday the Senate HELP Committee focused on the topic of spreading opioid addiction and what current Administration leaders and departments were doing about it. One of the starkest statistics (from the CDC) is that for every opioid related overdose death, there are another 60 addicts out there. The witnesses were Food and Drug Administration

HHS Has New Number Two Leader

Last Wednesday, the Senate gave approval to Eric Hargan to the position of Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. As the official second in command at HHS, Hargan becomes the acting HHS leader. For a week, Deputy Assistant Health Secretary Don Wright served as Acting Secretary.  Hargan served at HHS in

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

Debate Over Next HHS Leader Could Be Challenge

On Friday evening September 29, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price stepped down unexpectedly during the controversy over his private chartered flights. The resignation marks the first cabinet secretary to leave the Trump Administration less than eight months after he was confirmed by the Senate. Deputy Assistant Health Secretary Don Wright was appointed

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

Murray-Scott Release Child Care Expansion Bill

On Thursday, September 14, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced the Child Care for Working Families Act. The new legistaion attempts to set down a strong marker for what is truly needed to make improvements in the nation’s child care and early childhood education systems across the fifty states. It would