Federal Relations

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

FY 2013 Labor-HHS-ED Draft Bill

The House Appropriations Committee this morning released their draft FY 2013 Labor-Health and Human Services-Education (LHHS) Appropriations bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow morning (Wednesday).  As expected, the draft bill includes $150 billion in discretionary funding, which is $6.3 billion below last year’s level and $8.8 billion below the President’s budget request. Health

SCOTUS Upholds “Individual Mandate”

The Supreme Court has upheld the “individual mandate” requiring Americans to carry health insurance. The mandate is a key element of the Affordable Care Act.  More details to come.

SCOTUS to Rule on ACA

The Supreme Court is set to release decisions this morning starting at 10:00am eastern time (right now!). The court still has 10 opinions to release, the health care law decision among them.  While it could come today, I’m guessing they’ll wait until next week.  While the decision won’t have a direct impact on UW, it

Senate L-HHS-ED Appropriations

Earlier today, the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education Appropriations Subcommittee approved their FY 2013 appropriations measure by a vote of 10-7.  That bill would provide $158.8 billion in discretionary spending for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, as well as related agencies.  This is about $2 billion more

CBO Releases Long Term Budget Outlook

In its annual long term budget outlook released June 5, CBO projects that by the end of 2012, federal debt held by the public will exceed 70 percent of GDP, a dramatic increase from the end of 2008 when federal debt equaled 40 percent of the nation’s annual economic output. CBO attributes the sharp rise

Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations

House appropriators say the traditionally controversial Labor-HHS-Education appropriations measure could move forward in committee in June. Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee Chairman Denny Rehberg (R-MT) said Thursday that he would like to unveil his measure when the House returns from its recess the week of June 18th. Last year, the measure was not marked up by the House

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