Two-Week Stretch Before Holiday Recess
Congress only has two weeks left in session for the rest of year. There is a lot to accomplish in those two weeks. While government funding has been punted into early 2024, Congress is still working to address emergency supplemental funding for Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan and the border, and to complete passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). While the outlook looks positive for NDAA, clashing opinions and short timeframes make it highly uncertain whether Congress can come together on the emergency supplemental package before the end of the year.
Congress also had aimed to pass all 12 annual appropriations bills by January 19, 2024, but that intention seems to have bowed to reality, given the other congressional priorities and the difficulties both bodies have faced in trying to move the remaining appropriations bills forward.
While healthcare isn’t on the floor, there is still work being done. The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a mark-up of 44 bills this week. Half of these bills are health-related. The committee is proceeding with these bills so that it is in a strong negotiating position if there is an opportunity for a healthcare package to come together on the January 19 continuing resolution, which includes the expiring health extenders package. In the Senate, the Finance Committee is considering how to address drug shortages by holding a hearing on that topic this week.