Yearly Archives: 2017

  • CHN: Negotiations on Final Tax Bill Hit Some Snags

    House and Senate leaders were expected to release this week a merged tax bill that works out the differences in the versions previously passed by the House and Senate, but the latest reports are that final votes will be delayed until the week of December 18. Differences among Republicans have not all been resolved. Advocates are fighting hard against these tax cuts, calling them a one-two-three punch inflicted on low- and middle-income Americans. Read More »

    Posted in Health Care Reform, Tax Policy | Comments Off on CHN: Negotiations on Final Tax Bill Hit Some Snags
  • CHN: Congress Avoids a Shutdown – For Now – With Two-Week Stopgap

    With little time to spare, Congress agreed to a two-week stopgap spending bill to avoid a government shutdown. The House passed (235-193) the bill, known as a Continuing Resolution, on Thursday, December 7, with the Senate following (81-14) later that day, just one day before the previous CR expired. The CR will provide flat funding for most government operations through December 22. The bill also provides funding to allow states to continue to run the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through the end of the month, and extends funding for the federal flood insurance program through Dec. 22 for communities rebuilding from recent hurricanes. Read More »

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  • CHN: Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and Others Wait for Needed Disaster Aid

    Months after hurricanes hit Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Texas, and Florida, the need for additional funding to help these communities rebuild is still great. On Nov. 17, the Trump administration submitted a request to Congress for an additional $44 billion in aid for these areas. Many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle quickly denounced the request as being inadequate; Puerto Rico’s governor, for example, has requested an additional $94.4 billion in aid for the territory alone. Read More »

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  • CHN: Children’s Health Insurance Program Gets Temporary Support, but Long-Term Funding is Needed

    While Congress has yet to come to an agreement on renewing long-term funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), community health centers (CHCs), and several other health-related programs, states will have money to continue their CHIP programs through the end of December thanks to a provision of the two-week stopgap funding measure Congress passed last week. Funding for CHIP expired on September 30; officials in nearly a dozen states are either already notifying families or are preparing to notify families that CHIP health insurance coverage may end soon due to lack of federal funding. Read More »

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  • CHN: Despite Bipartisan Support, DACA Deal Still in Limbo

    Members of Congress and President Trump still have yet to agree upon a legislative solution for Dreamers, months after the President announced in September that he was rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Advocates rallied in Washington, D.C. and across the country last week for a fix for the 122 Dreamers who are being discontinued from DACA each day – more than 10,000 so far. Advocates have been pushing to attach a DACA fix to the stopgap spending bill that will need to be passed later this month to fund the government into the next year. Read More »

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  • CHN: House Tax Cut Bill Heads Towards Floor Vote; Senate Releases Its Version

    The House is expected to vote on its tax cut bill the week of Nov. 13, just as the Senate Finance Committee takes up its vision for tax cuts. While certain provisions differ between the bills, both would give trillions of dollars in tax cuts, disproportionately to the wealthy and big corporations. Both would also add nearly $1.5 trillion in debt over 10 years. Here is what is known so far about the Senate bill and how it compares to the House bill. Read More »

    Posted in Tax Policy | Comments Off on CHN: House Tax Cut Bill Heads Towards Floor Vote; Senate Releases Its Version
  • CHN: Year-end Spending Deal Still in Limbo

    With the government set to run out of money on Dec. 8, members of Congress have yet to reach a deal to keep the lights on. The Senate still hasn’t voted on its versions of any of the 12 required spending bills, and Congress has yet to come to an agreement on topline spending levels for FY18, which began October 1. While some options are on the table, the threat of a shutdown looms. Read More »

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  • CHN: Disaster Aid for Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and Others on Hold Until December

    Months after hurricanes hit Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Texas, and Florida, the need for additional funding to help these communities rebuild is still great. The Trump administration is expected to send another request to Congress the week of Nov. 13 for supplemental aid for these and other areas hit by natural disasters, including wildfires, but the bill is not expected to pass Congress until December. Read More »

    Posted in Disaster Relief, Poverty and Income | Comments Off on CHN: Disaster Aid for Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and Others on Hold Until December
  • CHN: House Passes Children’s Health Bill

    On November 3, the House passed a bill to renew funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), community health centers, and several other health-related programs. Funding for CHIP expired on September 30, though states have been able to keep operations going thus far. But advocates are concerned that provisions to pay for this funding would interrupt coverage and harm beneficiaries. Read More »

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  • CHN: ACA Open Enrollment Begins

    Open enrollment for insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces began November 1. This year, the open enrollment period will end on December 15; the 6-week sign-up period is half of the time allowed in previous years. The Trump administration has also cut advertising spending for open enrollment by 90 percent from last year, and cut the budget for the “navigator” program by 41 percent. Advocates are concerned that these cuts, along with the shortened enrollment period and the increased premiums, will dramatically reduce the number of people who enroll for coverage. Read More »

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