This week, the 115th Congress convened and lawmakers in the Senate took the first steps towards a repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
115th Congress Convenes
On Tuesday, new and veteran lawmakers in the House and Senate met on Capitol Hill for the swearing in of the 115th Congress. As expected, Congressman Paul Ryan (WI-1) was re-elected to the Speaker position with 239 votes in the House, and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (CA-12) was re-elected to the House Minority Leader position with 189 votes.
In addition, early this week lawmakers in the Senate majority took the first steps towards a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (WY) introduced a fifty-four-page budget resolution – S. Con. Res. 3 – on Tuesday that includes instructions for fast-tracking the law’s repeal. The resolution instructs the four committees of jurisdiction – two in the House and two in the Senate – to draft repeal legislation before a January 27th deadline. It overcame its first hurdle on Wednesday when the Senate voted 51-48 to proceed.
Using the budget reconciliation process, lawmakers are expected to successfully repeal the Affordable Care Act by early February. The legislation will be filibuster-proof, and will only require a simple majority of fifty-one votes to win passage in the Senate.
In the days and weeks ahead, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) will closely monitor the movement of S. Con. Res. 3 since a repeal of the Affordable Care Act will impact older Americans in several ways. For instance, progress that has been made to close the Medicare Part D prescription drug “doughnut hole” will be reversed, and the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund that finances Medicare Part A will lose a critical stream of funding created by the law. Throughout the 115th Congress, TSCL's legislative team will continue to advocate on Capitol Hill for legislation that would reduce any negative impacts on the Medicare program.
For updates on the progress of S. Con. Res. 3, visit the Legislative News section of our website, or follow TSCL on Facebook and Twitter. To view TSCL’s full legislative agenda for the 115th Congress, click HERE.