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April 21, 2015

Posts in "Health Care"

March 26, 2015

House Passes SGR Deal in Big, Bipartisan Fashion (Video)

Boehner and Pelosi got the 'doc fix' deal done in a big fashion. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Boehner and Pelosi got the ‘doc fix’ deal done. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

On Thursday, the House touched the third rail. Lawmakers didn’t punt. They didn’t kick the can down the road. And they were bigger than the clichés that have come to describe the predictable patterns of Congress.

In a bipartisan vote, 392-37, House lawmakers passed a bill to end the “sustainable growth rate” used to calculate doctor’s payments for Medicare. After extending the program 17 times with only partial offsets, the House sent a bill to the Senate that would eliminate the need for patches and would pay for at least some of it by changing how much wealthy seniors pay for their Medicare prescriptions and doctors visits, and by instituting a $147 deductible for supplemental Medicare coverage (Medigap). Full story

March 25, 2015

GOP Defense Hawks Trump Conservatives as House OKs Budget

Scalise posed a question about marijuana legalization in a recent email survey. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Wednesday’s budget vote was a win for Scalise and the rest of the GOP leadership team. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After months of leadership’s best-laid plans falling apart on the floor and behind the scenes, House GOP leaders eked out a much-needed victory Wednesday, with Republicans endorsing a budget that added even more defense dollars to the blueprint reported out committee.

The House voted 228-199 to adopt the budget resolution, after first endorsing that budget in a closer 219-208 vote. Full story

March 16, 2015

GOP’s Post-Ryan Budget: Price Outlines Spending Plan (Video)

Tom Price, R-Ga., chairs the House Budget Committee hearing on "The Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) Budget and Economic Outlook" on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Price outlines the GOP spending plan Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For the past four years it’s been all about the “Ryan budget,” the House GOP’s spending blueprint informally named for then-Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan — and synonymous with the Wisconsin Republican’s fiscal austerity.

This year, get ready for the “Price budget.” Full story

‘Doc Fix’ Is Latest Spending Battle for Conservatives

Doc Fix

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told Republicans a “doc fix” vote is coming up. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 

As the House returns Monday for its first legislative week after Republicans caved on the Department of Homeland Security funding bill, GOP leaders are gearing up for their next battle: the Sustainable Growth Rate.

SGR, as it’s more commonly known, deals with the payment formula for Medicare doctors. If the current “patch” expires on March 31, Medicare payments to doctors would be reduced by 21 percent. The only problem is the last time Congress extended the so-called “doc fix,” they didn’t exactly have the votes — a conundrum leaders solved by quickly voice voting the measure before members on the floor even realized what had hit them. Full story

February 3, 2015

Why 3 House Republicans Voted Against Repealing Obamacare (Updated)

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 19: Rep.-elect John

Katko and two other Republicans bucked party leadership to vote against the Affordable Care Act repeal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 7:27 p.m. | House Republican leaders gave their freshmen members a political gift Tuesday: The chance to vote “yes” on a symbolic bill to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

For three new Republican representatives, however, the repeal vote was an opportunity to vote “no.” Full story

January 22, 2015

What the House GOP’s Abortion Bill About-Face Really Means

Ellmers, R-N.C., questions HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius during her testimony before a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing in Rayburn Building on the failures of Affordable Care Act's enrollment website. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ellmers and other Republican women had concerns about the way the 20-week abortion ban was written. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A significant contingent of women and moderate members of the House Republican Conference prevailed Wednesday, convincing GOP leadership that the political blowback for voting to ban abortions after 20 weeks could far outweigh any favor curried with the anti-abortion base of the party.

It wasn’t clear Thursday whether the decision to swap out the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” for less controversial legislation to prohibit taxpayer funding for abortion services signaled a permanent shift back toward the middle for House Republicans. Full story

December 23, 2014

In New Role on Capitol Hill, Duppler Goes From ‘Outsider’ to ‘Insider’

House Republicans hired Duppler away from Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans hired Duppler away from Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In a town where everyone wants to be heard, a big part of Mattie Duppler’s job is to listen.

Duppler, who made a name for herself as the director of budget and regulatory policy for Americans for Tax Reform, is the new coalitions director for the House Republican Conference. Full story

December 16, 2014

Chaffetz Lays Out Different Direction for Oversight

p. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, participates in the House Judiciary Committee hearing on "Oversight of the Department of Homeland Security" with Homeland Secretary Secretary Janet Napolitano on Thursday, July 19, 2012. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Chaffetz offered a preview of what’s in store for Oversight. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If incoming Chairman Jason Chaffetz made just one thing clear Tuesday, it’s this: The Oversight and Government Reform Committee is not Darrell Issa’s anymore — in fact, Issa won’t even be on the committee next year.

Chaffetz gathered roughly a dozen reporters in his new Rayburn office Tuesday to discuss the 114th Congress and his vision for the Oversight panel, one that focuses less on political scandals and more on the “government reform” part. And it was evident to everyone present the Utah Republican has a dramatically different vision for the panel than that of his predecessor. Full story

December 12, 2014

Incoming House Budget Chairman Hopes for Legislative Gains in New GOP Congress

Price

Price succeeds Ryan as chairman of the House Budget Committee next year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Tom Price might not have the same star power as Rep. Paul D. Ryan.

But the Georgia Republican, who’s stepping in to replace his Wisconsin colleague as chairman of the House Budget Committee, could end up having the kind of tangible successes that eluded his predecessor. Full story

November 24, 2014

Paul Ryan Woos Ex-Boehner Aide Back to Capitol Hill

Ryan and other potential GOP House chairmen will have to seek a waiver if they want to keep their gavels while seeking another office. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call Fast File)

Ryan and Brendan Buck worked together on the Wisconsin congressman’s 2012 vice-presidential run. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call Fast File)

Rep. Paul D. Ryan must have made Brendan Buck a pretty strong case to leave his still-new K Street gig to come back to Capitol Hill.

The Wisconsin Republican and incoming chairman of the Ways and Means Committee announced Monday that Buck, a former spokesman for Speaker John A. Boehner, will be coming on board as the panel’s communications director.

Buck left his job as a congressional aide six months ago to be the vice president of communications at America’s Health Insurance Plans, the health insurance industry’s lobby. When he joins the GOP Ways and Means team at the start of the 114th Congress, he’ll be in a position to help message on Ryan’s ambitious goals, like a major overhaul of the nation’s tax code.

Full story

November 3, 2014

New Republicans Will Strengthen Boehner’s Hand in 114th

The anti-Boehner wing in the House plans to try again to unseat the speaker next January. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The anti-Boehner contingent will add a few new faces Tuesday, but overall the speaker stands to gain more control. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican gains in the House Tuesday aren’t expected to top what the party was able to accomplish in 2010, but even modest inroads will change the status quo on Capitol Hill.

Here’s a rundown of how the 114th Congress will be different if House Republicans, as expected, expand their majority. Full story

October 24, 2014

Watch Live: House Oversight Hearing on Ebola Threat

The House Oversight and Government Reform committee holds a 9:30 a.m. hearing on the federal government’s response to the Ebola virus, which has killed more than 4,500 people in West African nations.

Witnesses include officials from the Defense Department, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security.

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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October 17, 2014

GOP Lawmakers: Congress Should Pass Ebola Travel Ban

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

King wants a vote banning flights from Ebola-stricken countries. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Will the House interrupt its recess to vote on a travel ban or visa suspensions to prevent the further spread of Ebola on U.S. soil?

Highly unlikely.

After all, as airstrikes began in Syria earlier this month to combat the Islamic State terror group, members on both sides of the aisle were calling for Congress to return and vote on a formal Authorization for Use of Military Force measure.

GOP leadership didn’t bite, with Speaker John A. Boehner saying he would only be inclined to reconvene the House if President Barack Obama sent Congress the AUMF language.

In the case of Ebola, senior House Republicans are also downplaying the need to rush back to Washington for a vote on restricting travel from affected African countries to the United States. The Obama administration, they argue, should be taking such action without being compelled to by Congress.

“Let’s first see if the president is willing to work with us to do [a travel ban] now,” House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., told a small group of reporters Thursday. “He loves to brag about how he can do things with a pen and a phone. … He can approve a travel ban. Today. And we’ve called on him to do that. So let’s see what he says.”

Scalise, a member of the Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, was back on Capitol Hill to participate in a special hearing to probe the Ebola response by the federal government. The occasion pulled many members off the campaign trail, including Senate hopefuls Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and Bruce Braley, D-Iowa.

But a subcommittee hearing during a recess, when participation is voluntary, isn’t the same as recalling the House to take a recorded vote, a precarious exercise just weeks before the midterm elections.

Regardless, a handful of lawmakers were clamoring for just that Friday.

 

Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., joined forces with Sen. David Vitter, R-La., sending a letter to Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., urging emergency sessions on both sides of the Rotunda to institute travel bans while “the Obama administration has failed to recognize this public health threat.” Vitter’s Senate colleague, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, also wants members back on Capitol Hill to confront the issue.

Another Florida Republican, Rep. Dennis A. Ross, already has legislative text ready to go that would bar commercial flights to and from Ebola-affected countries until the virus is no longer a threat.

He’ll introduce it when Congress returns for next month’s lame-duck session, Ross said in a statement, though he added that he holds out hope Boehner would “quickly call Congress back into session to debate my legislation.”

 

Related:

Ebola Sparks Obama to Shake Up Leadership Style

For Senate Candidates, Ebola Hearing Takes Precedence Over Stump

As Ebola Crisis Escalates, Lawmakers on Both Sides Turn Up Heat

Murphy: CDC Needs Tighter Ebola Screening Rules

Ohio Senators Seek Information as Cleveland Faces New Ebola Risk

Democratic Senator: Restrict Africa Visas Due to Ebola

 

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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October 16, 2014

Republicans, Democrats Trade Punches Over CDC, NIH Ebola Funding

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 16: House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., speaks with reporters in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, following the House Energy and Commerce Committee Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on "Examining the U.S. Public Health Response to the Ebola Outbreak." (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Scalise says Democrats are politicizing Ebola.  (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House majority whip lashed out at Democrats Thursday for trying to blame Republicans for sanctioning cuts to medical research that might have helped curb the spread of Ebola in the United States.

“It’s a ludicrous attack,” Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., told a small group of reporters following an Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on the Obama administration’s handling of the Ebola crisis.

“You had a hearing today with a number of officials … and not one person asked for an additional dime of money,” Scalise went on. “[Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas] Frieden himself has actually made public comments that he has the resources they need.” Full story

For Senate Candidates, Ebola Hearing Takes Precedence Over Stump

Cory Gardner

Gardner took time off from the stump to return to Washington for the Ebola hearing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With Ebola dominating the news just weeks before the mid-term election, every member of Congress is feeling pressure to get to the bottom of federal missteps in responding to the health crisis — including the two House members looking to move up to Senate.

Both lawmakers, Republican Cory Gardner of Colorado and Democrat Bruce Braley of Iowa, took time off from the stump to participate Thursday in the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee’s hearing on Ebola.

The hearings, broadcast nationwide on C-SPAN and covered wall-to-wall online and on virtually every broadcast news outlet, offered each would-be senator — both members of the subcommittee — a chance to raise their respective profiles.

Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa., listens to testimony by Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing in Rayburn Building titled "The GM Ignition Switch Recall: Why Did It Take So Long?" Thirteen people died before 2.6 million vehicles were recalled due to a faulty ignition switch. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Braley followed suit with Gardner and took time off to return to D.C. for the Ebola hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For Gardner, a Republican looking to unseat Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, that meant coming down hard on the witnesses and bolstering his case for a travel ban — a key difference that has emerged between him and Udall.

For Braley, a Democrat who is running for an open Senate seat in Iowa, that meant clearly stating that his No. 1 priority is defending Americans from the disease and publicly advocating for an Ebola-related drug produced in his home state. Full story

By Matt Fuller Posted at 4:56 p.m.
Health Care

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