Last Friday was the deadline for Congressional Committees to weigh-in with the Super Committee and NACHC staff is compiling all the various letters that were sent. There was no definitive method that each Committee used – some sent a letter just from the Chairman, others just the Ranking Member, and at least one sent a letter on behalf of one party on the committee that not all members of that party signed. Nevertheless, we’re continuing to compile all the letters to see what recommendations would impact health centers and the programs important to our future if adopted. The Super Committee has no obligation to take the recommendations of the committees, though some of the recommendations will almost certainly make their way into any agreement the Super Committee reaches. The only remaining official deadline is for the final product of the Super Committee, which is due November 23rd.
Nothing has changed on Labor-HHS appropriations since the last report because everyone is waiting for an agreement between the House and Senate leaders on overall funding levels. The Senate moved its version through full Committee at $158.0 billion, while the House produced a marker at $153.4 billion that hasn’t even been considered by the Subcommittee. Both are now stalled awaiting a larger debate on FY12 spending, and once the overall spending is set we expect the negotiations to begin in earnest. The current temporary funding measure keeping the government operating runs through November 18th. Some have speculated that appropriators on both sides of the Capitol want to see appropriations action completed before the Super Committee is front and center later in November, but the chambers are a ways off from reaching that point. There has been some activity this week as the Senate began floor consideration of a “minibus” appropriations bill that includes the Agriculture/FDA, Commerce-Justice-Science, and Transportation-HUD appropriations bills.