This week in Washington: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced he is waiting to see who will become the next House speaker before working on another COVID-19 stimulus package; Senate Appropriations Committee releases Republican draft proposals for FY 2021.
Minority Leader McCarthy Will Wait for Next House Speaker to Negotiate COVID-19 Relief
On Nov. 12, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced he is waiting to see who will become the next House speaker before working on another COVID-19 stimulus package. Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called for passing a fourth stimulus package during Congress’s lame-duck session.
Ways and Means Chairman Neal: CMS Needs to Reinstate Nursing Home Staff Trainings
On Oct. 30, House Ways & Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) wrote a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) stating that CMS should reinstate its 75-hour nursing home staff training requirements and publicly report how many current staff have not met that requirement. Neal and eight other members want CMS to reinstate the staff training and physician oversight requirements that CMS waived due to the COVID-19 pandemic, arguing facilities are better able to prevent or contain COVID-19 when they have higher staff ratios and highly trained staff.
Senate Appropriations Committee Releases Republican Draft Proposals for Fiscal Year 2021
On Nov. 10, the Senate Appropriations Committee majority (Republican) released their draft appropriations bills. These bills have not yet gone through the regular committee process. The current continuing resolution funds the government through Dec. 11. It is unclear whether Congress will fund the government for the full year or do a continuing resolution into next year and the new Congress. Find more information here.
Sen. Murray Tells Secretaries of Education, Labor and HHS to Preserve All Records
On Nov. 10, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) sent letters to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia and Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar reminding them to comply with the Federal Records Act (FRA) and preserve all records as the end of the Trump administration approaches. Sen. Murray stressed to the Secretaries that violating the FRA can disqualify them from future federal office and reminded them that they have an obligation to inform the Archivist of any actual, impending or threatened unlawful action against records at their agency. Find the letter here.
Read more on healthcare policy in McGuireWoods Consulting’s Washington Healthcare Update.