Weary 9/11 Health Bill Supporters Wonder, Why Won’t It Pass?
The popular legislation has become a political chit, and advocates are frustrated as they watch responders die waiting. Elsewhere on Capitol Hill, Republicans are expected to block Democrats' proposal to federally fund gun violence research.
The Washington Post:
How Health Care For 9/11 Responders Became Just Another Political Football
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan assured House Republicans in a closed-door conference meeting that the 9/11 health program would be taken care of. But it remains uncertain exactly how that will happen. “Everyone said they were for it,” said Rep. Carolyn Maloney on Thursday. "But if everyone’s for it, why couldn’t you pass it?" (DeBonis, 12/14)
Fight To End Gun Research Ban Fizzles
Democrats’ latest push on gun legislation appears likely to fall short, as Republicans look to beat back a proposal to restore the flow of federal dollars for gun violence research as part of a sweeping government spending bill now under consideration. On the heels of a string of mass shootings — including this month’s deadly attacks in San Bernardino, Calif. — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) led calls to repeal the 19-year-old funding prohibition this week, adding it to her list of demands during this week’s budget talks. But Pelosi has carefully refrained from a threat to reject the overall bill if her demand isn’t met, following a series of failed attempts at strengthening gun control in recent years. (Williams and Ferris, 12/13)
In other congressional news, the Senate held a hearing on why agencies, such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, do not always listen to their watchdogs --
The Washington Post:
All That Advice On How To Save Money? Lots Of It Goes Down The Drain, Watchdogs Tell Congress
Federal watchdogs told Senate lawmakers Thursday that thousands of their recommendations for eliminating millions of wasted dollars every year get swept under the rug and simply never implemented. ... The auditors have made many recommendations for savings to Medicare, but although the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said it would take auditors’ findings into consideration, as of April 2015 the agency has not established a time frame for improving the accuracy of its adjustments. (Rein, 12/11)