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News & Press: Member Spotlight

This Week on the Hill, December 16 - December 20, 2019

Monday, December 16, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: TCAA Staff
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The House meets Monday at 2:00 p.m. for the last legislative week before heading home for their holiday recess. The chamber will consider 18 bills under suspension of the rules, including the Broadband DATA Act (H.R. 4229), which would aim to increase the accuracy of the FCC’s broadband data maps. No votes are expected until Tuesday.
Congressional staffers worked through the weekend trying to hammer out a spending deal, which Congress must pass by Friday to avoid a government shutdown. Members are optimistic that they can pass a long-term bill to fund the government rather than a short-term continuing resolution. As of right now, surprise billing is not expected to be included in the year-end package (see below). What may be included, however, is the elimination of three major Obamacare taxes: the “Cadillac tax” on generous health insurance plans, the 2.3 percent tax on medical devices, and the health insurance tax. A package could be ready for a House vote as soon as Tuesday.
The chamber will also vote Thursday on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act (H.R. 5430), a trade agreement intended to update and replace NAFTA.
Also up for consideration is H.R. 5377, a bill that would suspend for two years the $10,000 limit on the amount of state and local taxes that can be deducted on federal tax returns. The SALT deduction cap was put in place by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (P. L. 115-97).
Finally, on Wednesday, the House is expected to vote to make Donald Trump the third president to be impeached in U.S. history (H. Res. 755).




The Senate convenes at 3:00 p.m. Monday and will resume consideration of the conference report accompanying the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2020 (S. 1790). The chamber will vote on the cloture on the report at 5:30 p.m.
Later in the week, the Senate will vote on the government spending bill – either a short-term continuing resolution or a long-term appropriations measure, whichever makes it out of the House on Tuesday.
The Senate is not expected to consider House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) sweeping drug bill (H.R. 3) allowing the government to negotiate drug costs, which the House passed last week 230-192. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is not eager to put anything up for a vote that doesn’t at a minimum have the support of half of his members. Either way, a final decision will wait until after the Senate’s impeachment trial – assuming the House votes to impeach.



Lawmakers who want to attach surprise billing legislation to the fiscal 2020 spending bill are making the case it’s necessary to clear their bill to pay for extending several federal health programs. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) told reporters last week that he spoke with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) about getting a package of bills into the next spending measure, potentially on the floor this week. However, it was reported late last week that surprise billing will not be included in the year-end spending package, barring some late-breaking change.


Monday, December 16


House Rules Committee markup to prep for floor action on H.R. 5377, the Restoring Tax Fairness for States and Localities Act, which would suspend for two years the $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions. 5:00 p.m., H-313 U.S. Capitol.

Tuesday, December 17


House Judiciary Committee hearing on “Tackling the Opioid Crisis: A Whole-of-Government Approach.” 10:00 a.m., 226 Dirksen Bldg.


Monday, December 16


The Academy Health holds a webinar, "2019 AcademyHealth Meeting of Members Lisa's Read on Washington." 2:00 p.m.


Tuesday, December 17


The Academy Health holds a webinar, "Stabilizing Individual Health Insurance Markets." 2:00 p.m.


Wednesday, December 18


The Partnership for Artificial Intelligence, Telemedicine and Robotics in Healthcare holds its 2019 summit, with the theme "The Future is Here." 1:00 p.m., Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel.


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