Funding Bill Passed; Food Safety Measure Sent To President; 9/11 Worker Legislation Still Held Up
Although Congress gave approval to a short-term funding measure for the federal government, the bill doesn't contain money to pay for enforcement of new health law regulations. Meanwhile, work continued on other pending proposals.
The Wall Street Journal: Congress Passes Stopgap-Funding Bill
The measure passed by Congress doesn't contain money the Obama administration wanted to ramp up enforcement of new regulations for the financial services industry and to lay the groundwork for the national health care law. Republicans have said they will try to cut off funding to the health law to prevent its implementation (Boles and Vaughan, 12/22).
PBS Marketplace: Lack Of Federal Funding Makes Laws Difficult To Implement
Federal agencies figure out how to implement legislation once they've been passed by Congress. But the lack of funding for agencies will mean that laws, like health care reform, may not be carried out properly (Genzer, 12/21).
CQ Healthbeat: March May Blow In Like Lion For Foes of Health Law Implementation
The latest version of a stopgap funding bill shows Republicans making headway in efforts to squeeze off funding to implement aspects of the health care overhaul - perhaps emboldening them for another twist of the tourniquet when the measure expires on March 4 (Reichard, 12/21).
Los Angeles Times: House Approves Food Safety Bill
The House on Tuesday gave final approval to a landmark food safety bill designed to update the system for protecting the nation's food supply and equip the Food and Drug Administration with the tools needed to monitor a complex supply chain that stretches around the world. But the historic effort may run into trouble next year over an old problem - money. The current bill does not establish a secure funding system, and Republicans, who will soon have control of the House and expanded numbers in the Senate, have made cutting government spending a high priority (Zajac, 12/22).
Bloomberg: Coburn Blocks Sept. 11 Health-Care Bill, Seeks Changes To Bring Down Costs
U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, citing cost concerns, is threatening to block a vote on legislation that would provide additional aid to those suffering from illnesses linked to the devastation in New York following the Sept. 11 attacks. The Oklahoma Republican said yesterday that he is trying to reach an agreement with the sponsors of the $6.2 billion measure that would allow it to proceed. He couldn't say whether that would happen before lawmakers adjourn for the year (Faler, 12/22).
Politico: Democrats Fear Absentees Will Kill 9/11 Bill
An intense lobbying effort by New York Democrats on a bill to help Sept. 11 responders paid off late Tuesday, when House leaders promised to stay in session Wednesday to approve any Senate changes to the measure (Aujla, 12/21).