Congressional Corner

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Jan. 4, 2018

The Senate returned from recess on Jan. 3. The House of Representatives returns to work on Jan. 8. Congress has a lengthy list of issues to address during the upcoming month, including the following:

  • Funding the federal government beyond Jan. 19.
  • Children’s Health Insurance Program.
  • Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program.
  • Additional disaster relief for hurricane and wildfire victims.
  • Developing a budget deal to raise the caps on defense and non-defense discretionary spending for two years.

Currently, it is unclear how Congress will address these issues before the current continuing resolution expires on Jan. 19. According to media reports, Congress may approve another short-term continuing resolution through February to provide additional time. However, depending on negotiations regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) for young undocumented immigrants, it is possible that the government could shut down if an agreement is not reached. 

HHS Secretary Hearing

On Jan. 9, the Senate Finance Committee will convene a hearing to consider the nomination of Alex Azar to serve as the secretary of HHS. According to the press release, the finance committee will focus on Azar’s plans for the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and Medicaid. More information about the hearing can be found here.

HELP Committee Hearing on Opioids

On Jan. 9, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee will hold a hearing entitled, “The Opioid Crisis: An Examination of How We Got Here and How We Move Forward.” The current witness is Sam Quinones, a journalist and author. More information about the hearing can be found here.