Health Law Policy Disputes Central To Congressional Spending Fight
As lawmakers tussle over how much spending should be cut in this year's budget, these key policy questions related to the health law and other regulatory issues are a flashpoint. In addition, House Republicans are stepping up their strategies to defund the overhaul.
The Wall Street Journal: Policy Disputes Spill Over Into Spending Fight
In Congress's fight over federal spending, money is just half the battle. Republicans and Democrats, more than $50 billion apart on how much to cut spending this year, are also at odds over health care and regulatory policies anathema to tea party activists (Bendavid and Hook, 3/8).
Los Angeles Times: Senate Faces Ticking Clock In Budget Standoff
Facing another fast-approaching deadline to avert a government shutdown, the Senate is set to vote as early as Tuesday on competing budget proposals - both expected to fail - as public and private talks to resolve the stalemate grind on. Each week deepens the complexity surrounding the standoff and complicates the negotiations as Congress approaches other debates over the nation's debt capacity, entitlement spending and tax policy (Mascaro, 3/7).
National Journal: House Republicans Go After Power And Money In HHS Bill
House Republicans are targeting automatic spending in the health care reform law this week, and are holding hearings to highlight what they believe is too much fiscal power concentrated in the executive branch, according to an internal memo from the Energy and Commerce Committee. The Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee will pick at mandatory health care funds and criticize Democrats for allowing the Health and Human Services Department to bypass the typical appropriations process. Tea party Republicans have been protesting against the party leadership's decision not to go after mandatory health care-law funds in their 2011 long-term continuing resolution (McCarthy, 3/7).
CQ HealthBeat: House GOP To Take Aim At Mandatory Funding In Health Care Law
A background memo from House Energy and Commerce Republicans in preparation for a Wednesday hearing outlines alternatives for eliminating mandatory funding included in the health care law. The items the GOP would eliminate include mandatory funds states would use for activities related to setting up exchanges, a prevention and public health fund, and school-based health centers. The memo also proposes that lawmakers consider changing mandatory funding for a "personal responsibility education" program for teens and for primary care residency programs in teaching health centers so that the funding is considered instead through regular appropriations (Norman, 3/7).
National Journal: House GOP Taking Aim At Overhaul's Funding This Week
House Republicans are taking the old adage of "follow the money" to heart this week, criticizing Democrats for giving the Obama administration too much fiscal power under the health care law. The House Ways and Means Committee issued a release Monday saying the Obama administration is using an early retiree insurance program required by the health care law as a "slush fund" (McCarthy, 3/7).
The Hill: House Republicans Outline Novel Health Reform Defunding Tactic
Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans identified on Monday five provisions of the health care reform law that they want to subject to annual appropriations so they can defund them. Health subcommittee Chair Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) announced last week that he'd seek to transform the law's mandatory spending into discretionary spending, which is in the hands of congressional appropriators. An internal memo obtained by The Hill says Pitts' subcommittee will hold a hearing Wednesday on the matter, and outlines five specific programs that Republicans want to make discretionary (Pecquet, 3/7).