Monthly Archives: July 2008

  • CHN: Senate Announces a Step Towards Meeting Emergency Needs

    Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Robert Byrd (D-WV) announced last week that his Committee would take up another supplemental spending bill on July 22.  The bill is expected to include funding for disaster recovery efforts – fires in California, flooding in the Midwest, and possibly more aid to states hit by Hurricane Katrina.  In addition, the Read More »

    Posted in Economy | Comments Off on CHN: Senate Announces a Step Towards Meeting Emergency Needs
  • CHN: Medicare Improvements Become Law

    To the surprise of many, a Medicare bill canceling a scheduled 10.6 percent pay cut to Medicare physicians and which included various improvements for low income Medicare beneficiaries became law on July 15. The House passed H.R. 6331, the Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act of 2008, with an overwhelming majority, 355-59, on June Read More »

    Posted in Health, Medicare | Comments Off on CHN: Medicare Improvements Become Law
  • CHN: Counting the Poor: House Subcommittee Holds Hearing About Getting a More Accurate Tally

    New York City has begun a concerted effort to reduce poverty.  They found that they needed a more accurate measure of income and expenditures among low-income people in order to assess whether their proposed anti-poverty policies would work.  Mark Levitan, Director of Poverty Research for the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity, was one Read More »

    Posted in Poverty and Income | Comments Off on CHN: Counting the Poor: House Subcommittee Holds Hearing About Getting a More Accurate Tally
  • CHN: Most Expect Temporary Spending Bill Until the Next Administration

    Although Congress is supposed to enact a dozen appropriations bills in time for the new fiscal year on October 1, most observers are predicting that temporary spending legislation will keep the government running without major changes until a new Administration is in office.  Congressional leaders are reluctant to risk losing votes on overriding expected vetoes Read More »

    Posted in Budget and Appropriations | Comments Off on CHN: Most Expect Temporary Spending Bill Until the Next Administration
  • CHN: Housing Legislation Imminent As Mortgage Crisis Deepens

    Affordable Housing Fund in Package   There is a sense of urgency among Congressional lawmakers and the Administration that they must enact legislation to address the looming mortgage crisis before leaving for the August recess.  Last month there were over 250,000 foreclosures nationwide adding to the 1.5 million families that have already lost their homes.  Read More »

    Posted in Housing and Homelessness, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) | Comments Off on CHN: Housing Legislation Imminent As Mortgage Crisis Deepens
  • CHN: House-Passed Child Tax Credit Will Help 13 Million Low-Income Children; Senate Tax Bills at a Standstill

    Three tax issues that Congress will need to resolve this year are interwoven House and Senate tax bills: an Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) ‘patch’, the renewal of expiring annual tax credits often referred to as ‘extenders’, and improvements in the Child Tax Credit.  There is bi-partisan support for each of these.  At issue is a Read More »

    Posted in Tax Policy | Comments Off on CHN: House-Passed Child Tax Credit Will Help 13 Million Low-Income Children; Senate Tax Bills at a Standstill
  • CHN: Victory: 13 More Weeks of Unemployment Benefits;Congress Enacts and President Signs Bill Adding Domestic Items to War Funding

    Jobless insurance, veterans’ education benefits, protection against Medicaid cutbacks, and disaster relief are top domestic priorities enacted by Congress last week.  These items were attached to the bill extending funding for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars that the President signed on June 30. Backed by House and Senate leadership, these domestic provisions were initially opposed Read More »

    Posted in Economy, Medicaid, Unemployment Insurance | Comments Off on CHN: Victory: 13 More Weeks of Unemployment Benefits;Congress Enacts and President Signs Bill Adding Domestic Items to War Funding
  • CHN: Without a Doubt, Farm Bill Becomes Law

    All fifteen titles of the farm bill are now law. Congress intended to enact the whole bill last month, including long-overdue improvements for the Food Stamp Program and The Emergency Food Assistance Program.  But due to a clerical mistake the bill was sent to the President’s desk one title short. It was not until after Read More »

    Posted in Food and Nutrition, SNAP | Comments Off on CHN: Without a Doubt, Farm Bill Becomes Law
  • CHN: Appropriations Bills Hit a Snag

    Chairman Obey (D-WI) had just finished praising some retiring Republican members of the House Committee on Appropriations, but the bipartisan friendliness was soon to be shelved. Just after the Committee began considering the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education spending bill, Ranking Republican Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) offered an amendment to substitute the Department of Interior appropriations Read More »

    Posted in Budget and Appropriations | Comments Off on CHN: Appropriations Bills Hit a Snag
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