Budget & Appropriations – Senate Committee Approves Budget Office Nominee

On February 2, the Senate Budget Committee voted to favorably report the nomination of Rep. Mike Mulvaney (R-SC) to be Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The OMB is the largest division within the Executive Office of the President. It is charged with developing the budget and overseeing the implementation of the President’s agenda across the Executive Branch. Visit the Committee web site for more information or to access the archived video of the hearing.

Budget & Appropriation – Senate Committee to Hold Hearing for OMB Director Nominee

On January 24, the Senate Budget Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of Rep. Mike Mulvaney (R-SC) to be the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). OMB is the largest division within the Executive Office of the President. It is charged with developing the budget and overseeing the implementation of the President’s agenda across the executive branch. Visit the Committee web site for more information or to access live video on the day of the hearing.

Budget/Health Care – House Approves Bill to Advance Repeal of Health Care Law

On January 13, the House passed the fiscal year 2017 budget resolution, by a vote of 227 to 198, that was passed by the Senate the day before. The budget resolution begins the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and may result in other harmful provisions for people with disabilities. The measure provides “reconciliation instructions” to four authorizing committees so that ACA repeal legislation can move through a fast-track process and can advance with only a simple majority in the Senate instead of the usual 60 votes required to avoid a filibuster:

Each of these committees is charged with developing legislation to achieveat least $1 billion in deficit reduction over 10 years and submitting it to their respective budget committees by January 27, 2017. These instructions are intended to produce repeal of parts of the ACA that impact mandatory spending or revenue such as the individual mandate to have health insurance, federal subsidies to purchase health insurance, funding for Medicaid expansion, and various taxes that help fund the ACA. However, since the instructions are broad, the resulting legislation could include other provisions that could be threat to Medicaid or other federal.

The Arc strongly opposes repeal of the ACA and structural changes or cuts in funding to Medicaid. See our action alert and our Lifeline campaign.

Budget/Health Care – Repeal of Health Care Law May Advance This week

The Senate is expected to vote on Wednesday, January 11 on a budget resolution that would begin the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). See article above for more information and take action!

The House may also begin a series of votes this week on a reconciliation bill to repeal the ACA, starting in the Rules Committee. The House bill is expected to include language defunding Planned Parenthood which could result in loss of support in the Senate.

Budget/Health Care – Senate Advances Repeal of Health Care Law

On January 4, the Senate approved, with a nearly party line vote of 51 to 48, a procedural motion to move ahead with a fiscal year 2017 budget resolutionintroduced the day before that is intended to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and may result in other harmful provisions for people with disabilities. The measure provides “reconciliation instructions” to four authorizing committees so that repeal legislation can move through a fast-track process and can advance with only a simple majority in the Senate instead of the usual 60 votes required:

Each of these committees is charged with developing legislation to achieveat least $1 billion in deficit reduction over 10 years (fiscal years 2017 through 2026) to submit to their proposals respective Budget Committees by January 27, 2017. These instructions are intended to produce repeal of parts of the ACA that impact mandatory spending or revenue such as the individual mandate to have health insurance, federal subsidies to purchase health insurance, funding for Medicaid expansion, and various taxes that help fund the ACA. However, since the instructions are broad, the resulting legislation could include other provisions that will cut federal spending such as block granting the Medicaid program.

The Senate began to debate the budget resolution and is expected to continue working on amendments this week. Congressional leaders have stated their intent to have the budget resolution adopted by both chambers by Jan. 20, when Donald Trump will be sworn in as president.

The Arc strongly opposes repeal of the ACA and structural changes or cuts in funding to Medicaid. See our action alert and our Lifeline campaign.

Budget & Appropriations – President Signs Bill Funding Government Through April

On December 9, the day that a 10-week continuing resolution (CR) was set to expire, the Senate passed another short term CR. The CR, which had been passed by the House the day before, was quickly signed into law by President Obama. The measure will keep most of the federal government in operation through April 28, 2017. It includes an across-the-board cut of 0.19% from FY 2016 (to stay under the Budget Control Act’s post-sequester discretionary cap for 2017), an amount that is smaller than the 0.496% cut in the CR that expired on Friday. Summaries are available from House Appropriations Committee Republicans and Democrats.

Budget & Appropriations/Prevention – President Signs Short Term FY 2017 Federal Spending Bill

Last week, the House and Senate passed a Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 spending bill that runs through December 9. President Obama signed the measure into law shortly afterwards, only two days before the start of FY 2017. The measure advanced after several controversial policy riders were removed and emergency supplemental funding was provided to address the Louisiana flooding and the Flint, Michigan lead water crisis. This bill provides slightly less-than-level funding to most federal agencies and provides new funding to address the Zika virus. Key elements include:

  • An across-the-board cut of about 0.5 percent from FY 2016 levels to comply with the spending caps set by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. This cut would apply to all discretionary disability-related programs such as education, housing, employment, and transportation.
  • $1.1 billion in emergency funding for the Zika response, about $400 million of which is offset with funding that has not been spent (such as unused funding for Affordable Care Act exchanges in territories). ReadThe Arc’s statement on the passage of the Zika funding bill.

Budget & Appropriations/Prevention – Senate funding bill released; Negotiations stalled

Last week Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released the text of a short term fiscal year (FY) 2017 spending bill that would run through Dec. 9. This bill would fund most federal agencies and provide funding to address the Zika virus. Key elements include:

  • An across-the-board cut of about 0.5 percent from FY 2016 to comply with the spending caps set by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. This cut would apply to all discretionary disability-related programs such as education, housing, employment, and transportation.
  • $1.1 billion in emergency funding for response to the Zika virus, about $400 million of which is offset with funding that has not been spent (such as unused funding for Affordable Care Act exchanges in territories). It does not include controversial riders related to Planned Parenthood and pesticides that had been central issues stalling previous spending packages.

The measure was met with immediate opposition from many members of Congress who object to several riders that remain (such as one related to campaign finance) and the fact that no emergency funding is included to support recovery from the water contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan. Congress must pass a spending bill by the end of FY 2016 on Sept. 30 (Friday) to avoid a partial government shutdown.

Budget & Appropriations/Prevention – FY 2017 Spending Bill May Advance

A procedural vote is scheduled for tonight, September 19, 2016 to move a short-term spending bill through the Senate. The spending bill is intended to fund a number of federal agencies beyond the start of Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 on October 1 and avoid a partial government shutdown. These agencies include those that administer the majority of disability-related programs such as education, housing, and employment. Reportedly, negotiations continued over the weekend on the bill language but no final decisions have been announced. The funding amounts are expected to be set at the FY 2016 levels. Major issues to be resolved include the timeframe, parity between defense and non-defense programs, policy riders, and whether other emergency spending is included. However, some progress has been reported on the major sticking point to date in funding for the Zika virus in Puerto Rico – the exclusion of Planned Parenthood from efforts to help combat the virus.