Recap Of Goings On In Washington D.C.

The following is a recap of some of the goings-on in Washington D.C during the last week, as reported in the National Write Your Congressman Congressional Review & Preview Report: Farm Bill Becomes Law: The Senate passed the long-awaited five-year $956 billion agricultural and nutritional bill and sent it to the President for a signature on Feb. 4. The House-passed legislation provides a financial cushion for farmers who face unpredictable weather and market conditions, but the bulk of the bill’s cost is for the food stamp program, which aids one in seven Americans. The final version replaces direct crop payments with an insurance program and trims $8 billion from food stamps over the next decade. Many Republicans wanted a $40 billion cut, while many Democrats aimed at a $4 billion cut. NLRB Reviving Fiercely Debated Rule: The National Labor Relations Board is reviving a rule designed to speed up union elections that it was forced to drop in 2011 after a federal district court said the board lacked a quorum because President Obama’s 2012 recess nominations were unconstitutional. The rule would limit the appeals available to employers until after a union election is held and would require companies to provide e-mail addresses and phone numbers of workers to organizers and to expand the use of electronic filing during the run-up to an election. Long-term Unemployment Insurance: The Senate stalled on a three-month extension of assistance for the long-term unemployed, leaving it unlikely that Congress would approve the measure soon. Four million people are on the long-term unemployed rolls. Medical Preparedness Act: The House passed a bill meant to ensure homeland security grant dollars, are available for medical preparedness activities, including the purchase of vital medical equipment and supplies used by first responders. The Sportsmen’s Act: The House passed a measure that would protect the traditional use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle. $2 Billion possibly at stake on health insurance co-ops: A House oversight committee said taxpayers could be responsible for $2 billion in loans to health insurance co-operatives. So far, the Department of Health and Human Services has provided $2.1 billion to establish 23 health co-ops, meant to bring more competition to the exchanges. Medicare Payment Policy decided, but not funding: Bipartisan leadership of three Senate and House committees has reached a deal on policy that would reward doctors for quality of care provided, rather than quantity, as is currently the policy. Funding for the more than $200 billion program has not yet been addressed. G.I. Fairness: The House passed a bill that would require public institutions of higher learning to charge in-state tuition rates to all veterans in order for the school to receive G.I. Bill payments.

Share Button

Written by admin