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Washington Highlights

Congress Passes Short-term SGR Fix

January 6, 2012—After a contentious two-week showdown, both the House and Senate Dec. 23, 2011, passed by unanimous consent H.R. 3765, a short-term extension of the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) “patch,” payroll tax holiday, and unemployment benefits, through the month of February. The president Dec. 23 signed the bill into law (P.L. 112-78). The compromise legislation prevents a 27.4 percent cut to Medicare payments to physicians scheduled for Jan. 1, 2012, and allows time for a House-Senate conference committee to reach agreement on how to offset the cost of extensions through 2012 [see Washington Highlights, Dec. 22]. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced his conferees comprising Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.), Ben Cardin (Md.), Jack Reed (R.I.), and Bob Casey (Pa.). Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) named Sens. Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Mike Crapo (Idaho), and John Barrasso (Wyo.) to the committee.  In the House, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) appointed Democrats’ conferees comprising Reps. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), Xavier Becerra (Calif.), Allyson Schwartz (Pa.), Sander Levin (Mich.), and Henry Waxman (Calif). Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) appointed Republican conferees before the House voted on a final package.


Len Marquez
Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-862-6281


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806