The Senate is in session this week. The House is already on recess for August. The first session of the 115th Congress will reconvene after Labor Day, Sept. 5.
- Thank you for all your hard work in urging your leaders in Congress not to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Last Friday, the Senate failed to repeal the ACA, with Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) providing the critical NO votes. It was a close vote, 51 senators voted no and 49 voted yes.
- A bipartisan working group of senators is currently working on proposals to stabilize the insurance market. There is also Republican momentum around a Graham/Cassidy Medicaid block grant proposal. Bread for the World does not support legislation that converts Medicaid into block grants to states.
- When Congress reconvenes after Labor Day, legislators will have until the end of September to raise the debt limit, and finalize annual appropriations bills. They also need to pass a bipartisan budget deal that raises the yearly caps on defense and non-defense spending.
- Some Republican members are also wanting to refocus their efforts on tax reform, and others in the Senate are starting bipartisan conversations on health care reform.
- When the House recessed last week, they failed to take up their 2018 budget resolution. Instead they passed their first minibus spending bill that provides funds for Defense, Energy & Water, Military Construction/Veteran’s Affairs, and the Legislative Branch. (An omnibus includes a larger number of the appropriation measures, while a minibus only encompasses a handful).
- The Senate is working at a slower pace than the House in passing its appropriations bills out of committee. Last week they advanced a Commerce, Justice, Science bill, a Transportation, HUD bill, and a Legislative Branch bill.
- Last week U.S. Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) signed on as co-sponsors of the DREAM Act. They joined Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) who re-introduced the bill (S. 1615) in the Senate on July 20.
- On Wednesday, July 26, U.S. Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.-40) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.-27) introduced the House version of the DREAM Act, H.R. 3440. U.S. Reps. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.-06) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.-19) have joined as co-sponsors.
- The DREAM Act stands for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors. It would offer a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrant youth.
- We are urging all senators to co-sponsor the bipartisan DREAM Act (S.1615).
How did your senators vote on the “skinny repeal” of the Affordable Care Act last week? Find out here. If your senators voted NO, call (800-826-3688) and thank them for protecting Medicaid. If your senators voted YES, call (800-826-3688) and express your disappointment. Urge your senators to oppose any legislation that cuts, rolls back, or repeals Medicaid.