Tag Archives: Labor

Trump Releases FY 2018 Budget Blueprint and Sends FY 2017 Military and Border Supplemental to Congress

Executive Branch Activity Trump Releases FY 2018 Budget Blueprint Last week, President Donald Trump released his FY 2018 “skinny budget,” intended to serve as the blueprint for his full budget request expected in May. As anticipated, the $1.1 trillion budget request adheres to the topline discretionary spending cap of $1.1 trillion mandated by the Budget … Continue Reading

Fiduciary Rule and Puerto Rico in Focus for Financial Services Lawmakers; SEC, CFTC, FDIC to Hold Meetings

Legislative Activity Congressional Republicans Place DOL’s Fiduciary Rule in Crosshairs Last week, on April 19, just one day after Senate Republicans introduced a resolution to disapprove and nullify the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Fiduciary Rule, House Republicans introduced a companion resolution also targeting the rulemaking. Two days later, on April 21, the House Education and … Continue Reading

House Divided on Fiduciary Rule, Puerto Rico; CFTC Likely to Proceed on Positions Limits Despite Industry Objections

Legislative Activity Lawmakers Still Divided on Labor’s Fiduciary Rule With the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Fiduciary Rule now with the Office of Management and Budget and being prepared for release in final form later this spring, last week Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) emphasized his opposition to the proposal, noting that he is … Continue Reading

Fiduciary Rule Still in Focus, As Financial Services Lawmakers Consider Importance of Short-Term Credit Availability

Legislative Activity House Committees Mark-Up Fiduciary Rule Legislation as Senators Introduce Companion Bills With the Department of Labor (DOL) having recently submitted its Fiduciary Rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) – officially beginning the countdown before DOL’s proposal is released in final form – last week, the House Ways and Means and … Continue Reading

Health Bills Scheduled For House Floor Action; Medicare Premiums And Deductibles Announced

Legislative Activity Health Bills Scheduled For House Floor Action House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has announced that on Monday, November 16, the House will consider two health bills under suspension of the rules: S. 599, the Improving Access to Emergency Psychiatric Care Act, which extends and expands the Medicaid emergency psychiatric demonstration project; and … Continue Reading

Republicans Postpone Reconciliation Actions Until After August Recess; CMS Proposes Sweeping Changes to LTC Facilities; MedPAC Releases 2015 Data Book

Legislative Activity Republicans Postpone Reconciliation Actions Until After August Recess With the August District Work Period only weeks away, House Committee on the Budget Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) announced this past week that the House Committee on the Budget would not act on reconciliation until after the lawmakers reconvene in September. The three House committees … Continue Reading

House to Consider Medical Device Excise Tax and IPAB Repeals; CMS Clarifies Use of Section 1311 Grant Funds; Agencies Issue Final Rule on Summary and Benefits Coverage

Legislative Activity House to Vote on Medical Device Excise Tax and IPAB Repeals In the House of Representatives, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has announced that several health care bills will be considered on the floor this week. Two of these bills dismantle portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). H.R. 160, the Protect Medical … Continue Reading

House Addresses Issues With Affordable Care Act

Legislative Activity House Leadership is expected to bring up an Affordable Care Act (ACA) bill next week that would address security issues with the health insurance exchanges and enhance protection of personal information entered on the healthcare.gov website. The measure will be the first of a number of proposals in 2014 addressing health reform focusing … Continue Reading

House Passes Bill to Delay Fiduciary Rule

Tax Legislative Activity Senate Finance to Release Tax Reform Proposals Last week, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) announced that he intends to release tax reform discussion drafts in the coming weeks. Despite a considerable amount of speculation, the focus and level of specificity of the drafts remain unclear. Chairman Baucus has indicated that “anything’s … Continue Reading

Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 Delayed

Legislative Activity WRDA Reauthorization Floor consideration of H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013, has been delayed due to the debate over the continuing resolution. This Week’s Hearings: Despite the shutdown, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee continues to hold hearings and conduct business as usual. The following subcommittee hearings are … Continue Reading

Affordable Care Act Takes Center Stage

Legislative Activity Centerstage: Affordable Care Act The Affordable Care Act (ACA) remains in the spotlight this week with Tuesday, October 1 marking a major deadline as open enrollment in the health insurance exchanges officially begins. ACA defund and delay provisions, however, remain a key issue in the ping-pong over the continuing resolution (CR). The Senate … Continue Reading

Hearings Examining Ways to Improve Education Research

Legislative Activity Reauthorization Legislation On Tuesday, September 10, the House Education and the Workforce Committee held its first hearing this Congress to examine opportunities to improve education research and the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), and committed to move forward with the reauthorization of the Education Sciences Reform Act (ESRA), which created IES in 2002. … Continue Reading

Premium Subsidy Bill

Legislative Activity Premium Subsidy Bill House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) will continue to drive legislation to undermine elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and advance “patient-centered systems” when Congress returns to session. The strategy will continue to unfold this fall and kicks off with the House taking up H.R. 2775 this week, a … Continue Reading

Student Loan Compromise Bill Passes

Legislative Activity Student Loan Interest Rates Last week, the Senate passed its student loan interest rate compromise bill by an 81-18 vote. As previously noted, this proposal would peg interest rates to the 10-year Treasury note, plus 2.05 percent for both the subsidized and unsubsidized portions of the undergraduate loans, plus 3.6 percent for graduate … Continue Reading

House Committee On Energy And Commerce Released Updated Draft Legislation That Addresses Physician Payments Under Medicare

Legislative Activity Energy and Commerce and SGR Reform Last week, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce released updated draft legislation that addresses physician payments under Medicare and reforms the sustainable growth rate. While Republicans Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA), and Michael Burgess (R-TX) have been active in the drafting … Continue Reading

Senate Committee Reviews Bipartisan Cybersecurity Bill; DHS Compiles Critical Infrastructure List

Legislative Branch Activity Cybersecurity Legislation The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee is expected to mark up a bipartisan cybersecurity bill before the end of this month. A draft of the bill is currently being circulated and contains provisions that would codify the role of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to continue … Continue Reading

HHS awards $198M to Build Insurance Exchange & Announces $150M in Grants to Health Centers Enrolling Uninsured in New Health Coverage Options

Legislative Activity House Mandate Votes Following the U.S. Treasury’s announcement of a one-year delay in the Affordable Care Act employer responsibility requirements, House leadership plans to hold two votes this week to repeal both the employer and individual mandates for one year (H.R. 2667 and H.R. 2668). The move would force House Democrats to go … Continue Reading

Secretary Hagel Sends Letter to Senate Committee Opposing Sequester Cuts; Defense Appropriations Bill Comes to House under Closed Rule

Legislative Branch Activity Defense Budget Last week, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel sent a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee in which he “strongly” opposed the $52 billion sequester cuts to the Defense Department’s FY 2014 Budget. He particularly cited risks to U.S. military readiness and technological superiority. Secretary Hagel noted the adverse effects … Continue Reading

“Forty Hours is Full Time Act of 2013”

Legislative Activity Full Time Employee Bill Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Joe Donnelly (R-IN) introduced a bill that would change the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) definition of a full-time worker to someone who works 40 hours a week, up from 30 hours, titled the “Forty Hours is Full Time Act of 2013.” The Senators also … Continue Reading

Senate Works on Federally Subsidized Student Loans as House Continues to Overhaul No Child Left Behind

Legislative Activity Student Loan Reform Senators continue to work on a bipartisan deal to address federally subsidized student loan interest rates, which expire July 1. The long-term deal, which is expected to (1) peg the rates to the 10-year Treasury bill, (2) include a consolidated rate cap – something Democrats have called “non-negotiable,” and (3) … Continue Reading

DOE Prepares Rules for Gainful Employment Programs Under Title IV

Legislative Activity Gainful Employment Nominations for individuals to serve on the Department of Education’s negotiated rulemaking committee to prepare proposed rules for gainful employment programs under Title IV are due July 12. The department may establish additional negotiated rulemaking committees to consider action on issues, including: (1) Cash management of funds provided under Title IV … Continue Reading

Congress’ Continued Review of IRS Developments

Legislative Activity Tax Writing Committee Meetings Continue The Senate Finance Committee has continued their series of closed-door Committee meetings on tax reform, recently issuing their latest Option Paper last Thursday, June 6 – this one on Types of Income and Business Entities. The closed-door meetings have facilitated discussion among Senators in an attempt to find … Continue Reading

eRx Deadline; Action Plan to Prevent Health Care-Associated Infections

Legislative Activity This Week’s Hearings: Tuesday, June 11: The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee will hold a hearing titled “Reducing Duplication and Improving Outcomes in Federal Information Technology.” Wednesday, June 12: The Senate Indian Affairs Committee will hold a confirmation hearing on the nomination of Yvette Roubideaux to be the Health and Human … Continue Reading

Three Separate Bills To Reauthorize Elementary and Secondary Education Act

Legislative Activity Student Loan Interest Rates Last week, the Senate held votes on two competing measures to address federally subsidized student loan interest rates, which expire July 1. Both measures failed to garner the 60 votes needed for passage, setting up likely bipartisan negotiations this and next week to work on a compromise bill before … Continue Reading