On June 19, the House of Representatives passed H.R.6042
by voice vote. This bill delays implementation of the Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) requirements of the 21st Century Cures Act by one year, until January 2020. The bill also expresses the sense of Congress that CMS should hold at least one public meeting and solicit ongoing stakeholder input on its recently-issued guidance. Learn more about this newly-passed bill here
House Passes Farm Bill with Cuts to Basic Food Assistance
On June 21, the House of Representatives passed by a vote of 213-211
the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R.2
, also known as the “Farm Bill”). The bill reauthorizes farm programs and policy as well as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). If enacted, the House bill would make major cuts to basic food assistance under SNAP. The Arc has strongly opposed the House bill. In contrast, the Senate Agriculture Committee recently marked up its own bipartisan proposal to reauthorize the Farm Bill, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (S.3042
), which protects SNAP. Read The Arc’s statement
on passage of the House Farm Bill.
House Budget Committee Approves FY 2019 Budget Resolution
On June 21, the House Budget Committee approved a Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Budget Resolution. The budget
calls for $6 trillion in cuts over a decade, which include Medicaid per capita caps and block grants, Medicare privatization, and repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The budget resolution contains “reconciliation instructions” that direct eleven committees to come up with at least $302 billion in savings over ten years. This target includes at least $20 billion from the Energy and Commerce Committee and $150 billion from the Ways and Means Committee, which have jurisdiction over Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act. A “reconciliation bill” that outlines how these cuts would be made would require only a simple majority (51) to pass in the Senate. The Senate Budget Committee may write its own FY 2019 Budget Resolution and it is unclear whether the full House will vote on this budget resolution. See The Arc’s statement on the Budget Committee’s passage of the measure here
Rescissions Packages Defeated in Senate
On June 20, the Senate failed to pass a rescissions package (H.R.3) by a vote of 48-50
. This package would rescind $15.3 billion in appropriated funds, nearly half of which come from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The decision to rescind funding from CHIP could have destabilized the program and limited a state’s ability to respond to issues such as natural disaster, large layoffs due to plant closures, or an overall economic slowdown.
Major Events Ahead
House Committee to Hold HUD Oversight Hearing
On June 27, the House Committee on Financial Services will hold a hearing on “Oversight of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.” Dr. Ben Carson, the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), will be the sole witness. Visit the Committee web site for more information.
House Committee to Hold Hearing on Lead-Based Paint and Mold Remediation
On June 26, the House Committee on Financial Services’ Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance will hold a hearing on “Oversight of the Federal Government’s Approach to Lead-Based Paint and Mold Remediation in Public and Subsidized Housing.” The hearing will examine how HUD remedies unsafe living conditions. Exposure to high levels of lead increases the risk for learning and developmental disabilities in children. This hearing follows the release of two reports last week: the Government Accountability Office, “Lead Paint in Housing: HUD Should Strengthen Grant Processes, Compliance Monitoring, and Performance Assessment” and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of the Inspector General, “HUD Lacked Adequate Oversight of Lead-Based Paint Reporting and Remediation in Its Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Programs“. Visit the Committee web site for more information.
White House Releases Major Government Restructuring Proposal
Last week, the White House announced a proposal to make major changes to the structure of government agencies. The most prominent change proposed is the merger of the Departments of Education and Labor. Additionally, the proposal moves non-commodity nutrition assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) from the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which would be renamed the Department of Health and Public Welfare. If legislation is introduced to make these changes, The Arc will assess the impact on programs critical to people with disabilities.