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This Week on the Hill, February 5 - 9, 2018

Tuesday, February 6, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: TCAA Staff
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For the fifth time in six months, the government is once again about to run out of money. With
a long-term funding bill off the table, both chambers will consider yet another short-term
stopgap spending bill as lawmakers beg, borrow, and deal with their own caucuses in order to
keep the government’s lights on.


House Republicans return from their West Virginia legislative retreat today eyeing a six-week funding bill that would keep the government open until March 23. The current continuing resolution – passed just three weeks ago; the fourth since September – expires Thursday at midnight.

In a bid to attract more Democratic support for the CR, the measure could include sweeteners like two years of funding for community health centers, which would amount to several billions of dollars. Meanwhile, the House Freedom Caucus has been pushing hard for leadership to include a full year of defense funding in the next short-term spending patch, which sources say could have some Democratic support in the Senate.

Complicating matters further is the Trump administration’s request for so-called ‘anomalies’ – tweaks to the continuing resolution that would otherwise continue existing funding levels. The IRS has requested an additional $90 million during the next CR period to implement the myriad changes mandated by tax overhaul passed in December. The administration has also requested a provision in the CR that would suspend the debt ceiling, which was last suspended through December 8. Each new anomaly – and there are several of them – adds an additional complication to the already-complicated negotiations.

Finally, House lawmakers are expected to announce a bipartisan deal today on a healthcare extenders package that adds measures that aren’t extenders, including provisions from Senate Finance chronic care legislation and provisions from various House Medicare bills. It’s not clear at this point whether the urgency of the stopgap bill will provide enough time for these provisions to be included; the extenders would instead be included in the next funding mechanism.

The House is expected to vote on a CR on Tuesday because of a House Democratic retreat planned for Wednesday through Friday. The bill would then be taken up in the Senate, where it will need 60 votes to pass.


The Senate is largely in a holding pattern while it awaits House passage of the continuing resolution. The upper chamber reconvenes at 3 p.m. today and this evening will consider the nomination of Andrei Iancu to be undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The Senate is expected to vote on confirmation of the Iancu nomination at approximately 5:30 p.m.

Should the House pass the CR in time for the House Democratic retreat, the Senate will likely take up the measure as soon as late Tuesday or Wednesday.


Tuesday, February 6


House Science Committee hearing on “The IARC Monographs Program”, which identifies environmental factors that can increase the risk of human cancer. 10:00 a.m., 2318 Rayburn Bldg.


House Committee on Way and Means Subcommittee on Health hearing on " The Opioid Crisis: Removing Barriers to Prevent and Treat Opioid Abuse and Dependence in Medicare." 3:00 p.m., 1100 Longworth Bldg.


Thursday, February 8


Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on “The Opioid Crisis: Impact on Children and Families.” 10:00 a.m., 430 Dirksen Bldg.





Tuesday, February 6


Health Affairs holds an event, “Health Affairs Issue Briefing: Diffusion of Innovation.” 9:00 a.m., National Press Club, 529 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC



Wednesday, February7


The Cato Institute holds an event, "Overturning the FDA’s Gag Rule" 12:00 p.m., Hayek Auditorium, Cato Institute

Info/Watch Online:


Friday, February 9


The Healthcare Leadership Council holds a discussion on “Cybersecurity and Blockchain: Keeping Up with Technology in the Healthcare Space.” 12:00 p.m., 2322 Rayburn Bldg.


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