2016 Budget Update: House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) has scheduled several hearings this week on President Obama’s FY 2016 budget request. Hearings on the president's budget will also take place before other committees in the House and Senate this week.
Affordable Care Act Update: Last week, the House passed H.R. 596 by a vote of 239-186. H.R. 596, if enacted, would repeal the 2010 Affordable Care Act and direct three House committees to draft replacement legislation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has begun the process for possible Senate consideration of the legislation, though it is unlikely that the bill would receive the 60 votes in the Senate needed to overcome procedural hurdles. Even if the legislation passes the Senate, President Obama has said he would veto the bill.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a statement on February 2nd regarding the Obama administration’s position on the legislation. OMB stated that if the ACA was repealed under this legislation, “[m]ore than 250 million Americans with insurance – private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid – would lose the benefits and protections they receive under the health care law.” According to the administration, some of the benefits under attack include tax credits for individuals and small employers and federal assistance for expanded Medicaid programs, as well as the ACA’s protections preventing discrimination based on preexisting conditions or gender.