Legislative Update for Week Ending November 16, 2018

Legislative Update for Week Ending November 16, 2018

This week, House and Senate lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill to begin the “lame duck” session. In addition, The Senior Citizens League saw two key Medicare bills gain support in Congress.

Leadership Elections Kick Off “Lame Duck” Session

This week, lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill to begin the “lame duck” session of Congress. Those in the Senate – plus Republicans in the House – held leadership elections for the 116th Congress. In the Senate, key leadership positions will remain largely unchanged in 2019. Senator Mitch McConnell (KY) will once again serve as the Senate Majority Leader, while Senator Chuck Schumer (NY) will remain the Minority Leader in the 116th Congress.

In the House, Representative Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) will take over the top post – House Minority Leader – for Republicans next year. Representative Steve Scalise (LA-1) will become the Minority Whip, and Representative Liz Cheney (WY) will hold the position of House Republican Conference Chairwoman. House Democrats, who will take over the majority in the House next year, will hold their leadership elections on November 28th, following the Thanksgiving recess.

Once lawmakers return from next week’s holiday break, they will have just a few days to pass a continuing resolution to keep most of the federal government operating past December 7th. Should they fail to reach an agreement before then, part of the federal government will shut down like it did earlier this year. The Senior Citizens League is hopeful that lawmakers will 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, The Senior Citizens League will keep a close eye on the evolving budget negotiations, and we will continue to advocate for legislative solutions that would strengthen and protect your Social Security and Medicare benefits. For updates, follow us on Twitter or visit the Legislative News section of our website every Friday morning.

Two Key Medicare Bills Gain Support

This week, The Senior Citizens League was pleased to see support grow for two key bills that would improve retirement security in America if adopted.

First, one new cosponsor – Representative Steve Cohen (TN-9) – signed on to the Creating Access to Rehabilitation for Every Senior (CARES) Act (H.R. 4701), bringing the total up to five. If adopted, this bipartisan bill would improve access to affordable long-term care by eliminating the three-day prior hospitalization requirement that currently limits Medicare’s coverage of patient stays in skilled nursing facilities.

Second, one new cosponsor – Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) – signed on to the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act (H.R. 4138), bringing the total up to twenty. This bill, if adopted, would reduce prescription drug prices for older Americans by requiring the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower covered Medicare Part D drug prices on behalf of beneficiaries.

The Senior Citizens League enthusiastically supports the CARES Act and the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act, and we were pleased to see support grow for 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.