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Updates: Health Bill, Social Security, Budget, Debt Ceiling, Appropriations

  • Senate GOP released a revised health care bill on Thursday which tentatively includes the controversial Cruz amendment that gives insurers the ability to circumvent consumer protections with low-cost, low-coverage plans. The revised bill drops tax cuts for high-income earners, but leaves in place deep cuts in Medicaid.  At the same time, GOP Senators Graham and Cassidy are working on a different alternative that would also keep ACA tax increases but send revenues to the States....
    • President’s Budget Runs $720 billion deficit:  The nonpartisan CBO released its annual re-estimate of the President’s Budget, concluding that the President’s Budget would generate a $720 billion deficit in 2027 rather than the balanced budget predicted by the President’s budget office....
    • Social Security Insolvency in 2034:  The Social Security Trustees released their annual report projecting that the Social Security Trust Funds will have insufficient resources to fully cover retirement and disability benefits beginning in 2034....
    • Medicare HI Insolvency in 2029:  The Trustees also released their annual assessment of the Medicare Trust Funds, finding that the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund -- which is funded by payroll taxes -- will have insufficient revenues to cover expenses in 2029....
    • GOP House leaders are having trouble assembling 218 votes for a 2018 Budget Resolution because conservative Freedom Caucus members want more entitlement cuts than the $200 billion proposed by Budget Committee leaders, while moderates want fewer cuts....
    • House Appropriations Committee continues to move FY ’18 Appropriations bills through subcommittee and full committee even though bipartisan negotiations have not yet begun on new top-line (“statutory cap”) levels for defense and non-defense discretionary spending. When new cap levels are eventually agreed to, all committee bills will have to be significantly revised....
    • Debt Ceiling:  In announcing the Senate would shorten its traditional August recess by two weeks, Senate Majority Leader McConnell hinted he may try to address the debt ceiling in August....

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Charles Konigsberg

Charles Konigsberg, President of the Federal Budget Group and Founder of FedWeb.com, has served as Assistant Director at the White House Office of Management and Budget, General Counsel and minority Chief Health Counsel at Senate Finance Committee, Minority Chief Counsel at Senate Rules Committee, Staff Attorney at Senate Budget Committee, and is Author of America’s Priorities: How the U.S. Government Raises and Spends $3 Trillion Per Year.

2017 Congressional Calendar

(Note: House is in recess numerous Mondays and Fridays; check majorityleader.gov)

  • Jan 3: Congress convenes
  • Jan 16: MLK, HSE recess thru 1/19
  • Jan 20: Inauguration
  • Jan 26-27: HSE recess
  • Feb 9-10: HSE recess
  • Feb 20-24: Pres Day recess
  • Apr 10-21: Easter/Passover recess
  • May 5-15: HSE recess
  • May 29-Jun 2: Mem Day recess
  • Jul 3-7: July 4 recess
  • Jul 31-Sept 4: Summer recess
  • Sept 21-22: Rosh Hashanah recess
  • Col. Day: Oct 9; SEN thru 10/13
  • Oct 16-20: HSE recess
  • Nov 10: Vets Day recess
  • Nov 20-24: Thanksgiving recess
  • Dec. 14/15: Target Adjournment