Legislative Update for Week Ending December 14, 2018

Legislative Update for Week Ending December 14, 2018

This week, lawmakers continued working towards a deal to keep the federal government funded past Friday, December 21st. In addition, The Senior Citizens League saw two key bills gain support in the House of Representatives.

Lawmakers Continue “Lame Duck” Session

This week, lawmakers in the House and Senate continued working towards a deal to keep the federal government operating past Friday, December 21st. They have just one week to reach an agreement, and at this point in time, a shutdown looks likely. Lawmakers in both chambers have left Washington for the weekend with no plan in place. Those in the Senate are expected to return on Monday, December 17th, and those in the House are expected to return on Wednesday, December 19th. At that point, they will have just two days to strike a deal.

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump took ownership of the potential shutdown, saying: “I am proud to shut down the government for border security … I will be the one to shut it down.” And on Wednesday, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (AL) told reporters, “It’ll shut down unless we can resolve some things.”

The Senior Citizens League urges lawmakers to act responsibly to keep the federal government fully funded so that essential programs like Social Security and Medicare can operate as smoothly as possible. In the days ahead, we will keep a close eye on the evolving negotiations, and we will continue to advocate for legislative solutions that would strengthen and protect your Social Security and Medicare benefits.

For updates, follow The Senior Citizens League on Twitter or visit the Legislative News section of our website every Friday morning.

Key House Bills Gain Support

This week, one Member of Congress – Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-8) – signed on to two key bills that would reduce prescription drug prices for older Americans if signed into law.

First, Representative Krishnamoorthi signed on to the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act (H.R. 1245), bringing the cosponsor total up to twenty-nine. This bill, if adopted, would increase access to affordable prescription drugs by allowing individuals, pharmacies, and wholesale distributors to import pharmaceuticals from licensed pharmacies in Canada and other approved countries.

Second, Representative Krishnamoorthi signed on to the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act (H.R. 4138), bringing the total up to twenty-one. If adopted, this critical bill would require the federal government to negotiate lower prescription drug prices on behalf of Medicare Part D beneficiaries. Under current law, price negotiation in the Medicare program is prohibited, resulting in much higher prices for older Americans.

The Senior Citizens League enthusiastically supports H.R. 1245 and H.R. 4138, and we thank Representative Krishnamoorthi for cosponsoring them this week. For more information about these and other bills that have been backed by The Senior Citizens League, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website.