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Second Opinion

Learn about policy issues important to medical schools and teaching hospitals, with Executive Vice President Atul Grover, M.D., Ph.D.

Washington Highlights

Congress Approves Short-term Funding Extension

December 11, 2015—The House of Representatives Dec. 11 passed by voice vote a five-day continuing resolution (CR), clearing the bill for the president and avoiding a potential government shutdown. The White House has indicated the president will sign the measure.

The legislation (H.R. 2250) contains the text (H.J.Res. 75) of a funding extension until midnight on Dec. 16 to give appropriators additional time to complete work on the $1.1 trillion fiscal year (FY) 2016 omnibus spending bill.

The Senate passed the measure Dec. 10 by voice vote, amending a House-passed FY 2016 Legislative Branch spending bill by replacing the original language with the text of H.J.Res. 75.

The current CR (P.L. 114-53) expires at midnight Dec. 11. The new resolution will maintain existing funding levels.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest Dec. 8 said, “We have been clear that if members of Congress needed an extra day or two in order to pass legislation, that the President would ensure the government didn’t shut down while they were going through the legislative mechanics of passing a bipartisan budget agreement.”

He added, “[T]he only thing that's blocking negotiations right now is the insistence on the part of Republicans to use the budgetary process to advance their stalled ideological agenda…. And the President is not going to sign a piece of legislation to give them more time to negotiate on a set of ideological riders. Those ideological riders should not be a part of the process.”

Negotiations have slowed over a wide range of contentious policy riders, including provisions on Syrian refugees, environmental and financial regulations, oil exports, and abortion services and coverage. Democrats also are pushing for removal of the so-called “Dickey amendment,” which restricts the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from funding research on gun violence.

Talks on the spending package also are tangled up with negotiations on a separate measure extending a variety of expiring tax breaks. The extender bill also reportedly may be used to eliminate the taxes on medical devices and high-value “Cadillac” plan premiums.

House Appropriations Chair Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) have said they do not expect the omnibus text to be filed until Monday, Dec. 14, leaving only three days for House and Senate consideration of the spending package.

Contact

Dave Moore
Senior Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-828-0559
Email: dbmoore@aamc.org

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For More Information

Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806
Email: jkleinman@aamc.org