Washington Update: Week of June 26

June 27, 2017
Washington Update

Budget & Appropriations

  • Last week, we heard that House Republicans might markup a fiscal year 2018 budget bill this week. However, now we’ve heard that they don’t have a budget agreement nor a defense topline number.
  • Still being negotiated are budget reconciliation instructions for entitlement cuts. House Freedom Caucus members had demanded $150 billion in cuts tied to any tax code changes. The deal on the table would increase the fast-tracked entitlement cuts to $200 billion, a House Republican aide said.
  • Republicans are hoping to adopt a budget resolution with reconciliation instructions for tax changes that are needed to avoid a filibuster by Senate Democrats.
  • Lawmakers have said in recent weeks that the budget resolution would project a balance within a decade and calls for cuts to Medicare spending through a partial privatization premium support system.
  • The House Budget Committee may vote on a budget resolution this week.  However, it is still uncertain on when the bill will be considered by the full House. 

Health Care

  • Last week, the Senate unveiled the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BRCA), which is its version of the House health care bill. The BCRA does not meet our standards for repeal and replace because it significantly caps and cuts Medicaid and also rolls back the Medicaid expansion.
  • The BRCA would increase the number of people without health insurance by 22 million by 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The CBO also reported that 15 million people would to lose their Medicaid by 2026.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated that he wants to take a vote on the BCRA on Thursday. If the bill passes the Senate, the House will stay in session during the Fourth of July recess to vote on the Senate bill.
  • Right now, five Republican senators have come out in opposition to the BCRA: Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), Sen. Mike Lee (Utah), Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas), Sen. Ron Johnson (Wisc.), and Sen. Dean Heller (Nev.). We have also heard that Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) have reservations about the bill.

Act Now!

The Senate is planning to vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 this week! If this bill passes millions will lose lifesaving care and access to Medicaid! Contact your U.S. senators today (800-826-3688) and tell them to vote NO to cuts to Medicaid in the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2107.

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