Federal Relations

New NIH Office of Emergency Care Research

To help improve health outcomes of patients who require emergency care, the National Institutes of Health has created a new Office of Emergency Care Research (OECR). The office is a focal point for basic, clinical and translational emergency care research and training across NIH. Although OECR will not fund grants, it will foster innovation and

CR Through March 2013

Well, it’s official!  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner have reached a deal to keep the federal government funded for six months, meaning there will be no threat of a government shutdown when the federal fiscal year ends September 30th. The funding deal would keep government spending at current levels through

Senate Committee Approves Bill Banning Invasive Research on Apes

Late last week, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee approved by voice vote the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (S 810) that would ban “invasive” research on chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans, or gibbons. The bill prohibits any research that “may cause death, injury, pain, distress, fear, or trauma” to the animal,

Today in Congress

The House is not in session today. The Senate’s in at 2:00pm and will hold a procedural vote on the nomination of Robert E. Bacharach of Oklahoma to be United States Circuit Judge for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Senate then will turn to S 3414, the Cybersecurity Act of 2012.  As reported

CR Through March 2013?

House and Senate leaders appear to have reached a deal on a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government for six months beyond the start of the federal fiscal year on October 1st.  The CR would extend current funding levels through March 2013.  The effort, if approved by Congress, will avert any threats of

Report Required on Sequester Impacts

We may soon learn more about how the scheduled automatic budget cuts, or sequester, will affect federal programs. Yesterday, the Senate passed a House measure (HR 5872) giving the Obama administration 30 days to describe its plans for implementing the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts scheduled to go into effect beginning in January. The measure

Sequester Impacts

Today US Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) released a detailed analysis of the impact of sequestration on dozens of health, education and labor programs. The report includes State level information on funding cuts and details the impact in every State. The report will be featured at a rally this afternoon in DC with non-defense groups.  Read the report

“Doc Fix” Uncertain

Congress continues to discuss how best to overhaul the system that Medicare uses to determine physician reimbursements, known as the sustainable growth rate (SGR).  The current rates are set to expire at the end of the year but little legislative progress has been made. Most lawmakers agree that they want to replace the current formula

Labor-HHS-Ed Bill Status

The House Appropriations Committee has not yet announced a full committee markup for its FY 2013 Labor-HHS-Education spending bill, and now many are raising doubts that it will ever do so. On Monday, Congressman Norm Dicks (D-WA), ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, expressed his belief that his GOP colleagues have “indefinitely postponed” further

Congress Talks CR, Appropriations, and Sequester

FY 2013 Continuing Resolution:  Several Republican lawmakers are advocating for an early vote on a stopgap spending bill for FY 2013 that would keep the government running into early next year, leaving contentious funding decisions for the next Congress. Most believe they are betting that they’ll have more power next year – possible control of

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