Legislative Update: September 17, 2019
With less than two weeks left in the fiscal year, Congress continues to debate measures to fund federal agencies for the upcoming fiscal year (FY) 2020, which begins on October 1st.
There are 12 individual appropriations bills that provide funding across the government. None of these bills have been signed into law yet, which means that funding remains unresolved.
Recognizing that legislative time is short, House lawmakers are expected to vote this week on a “continuing resolution” to provide short-term, stopgap funding. This measure will likely allow federal agencies to continue receiving appropriations until late November or early December. This funding extension would provide lawmakers a few more weeks to negotiate final funding levels for FY2020.
Once short-term funding passes the House, the Senate will need to determine if they also support a stopgap measure and then the law would need to be signed into law by the President. If this funding is not approved, another government shutdown would be triggered, but it most believe a shutdown will be avoided.
While the appropriations work is underway, key health care Committees are continuing to develop proposals around hot-button issues, including policies to end “surprise medical billing” and proposals to reduce prescription drug prices. In addition, Committees are likely to also consider other proposals into the fall, which provides an ongoing opportunity to advocate for consideration of legislation related to home health and hospice care.
We will provide ongoing Congressional updates as funding and health policy debates continue.