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NLN Capitol Connection - January 2017

Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act
January 3, 2017

Congress Passes Temporary Spending Bill
Shortly before adjourning the 114th Congress, the House and Senate passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) that funds the federal government until April 28, 2017. The CR funds federal programs like the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Title VIII nursing workforce development programs at the same funding level as the previous year with a 0.19 percent funding decrease. In 2016, the Title VIII programs received $229.472 million. Through April 28, 2017, the Title VIII programs will be funded at this amount minus the 0.19 percent funding decrease of $435,997 for a total of $229.036 million.

Title VIII Reauthorization Update
H.R. 2713 passed the House on November 14, 2016. It was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on November 15, but did not move any further through the legislative process. The NLN will work for it to be reintroduced in the 115th Congress.

President Signs 21st Century Cures Bill into Law
On December 13, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act into law. As you know, the House and Senate overwhelmingly passed this important piece of legislation shortly before adjourning the 114th Congress. The cures legislation also included a mental health portion that seeks to reorganize and improve accountability for government mental health programs and grant funding for the opioid epidemic.

Current Landscape of Congress
The 115th Congress convenes on January 3, with Republicans in control of the White House and Congress for the first time in a decade. In the 115th Congress there will be 52 Republicans, 46 Democrats, and 2 Independents (who caucus with the Democrats) in the Senate. In the House there will be 241 Republicans and 194 Democrats. Below is a list of leaders in the new Congress.


US Senate Leadership
Majority Leader: Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Majority Whip: John Cornyn (R-TX)
Minority Leader: Charles Schumer (D-NY)
Minority Whip: Richard Durbin (D-IL)

Key Committees
Speaker: Paul Ryan (R-WI)
Majority Leaders: Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
Majority Whip: Steve Scalise (R-LA)
Health, Education, Labor & Pensions
Chairman: Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Ranking: Patty Murray (D-WA)
Chairman: Mike Enzi (R-WY)
Ranking: Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Chairman: Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Ranking: Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

US House Leadership
Speaker: Paul Ryan (R-WI)
Majority Leaders: Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
Majority Whip: Steve Scalise (R-LA)
Minority Leader: Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
Minority Whip: Steny Hoyer (D-MD)
Assistant Leader: James Clyburn (D-SC)

Key Committees
Energy & Commerce
Chairman: Greg Walden (R-OR)
Ranking: Frank Pallone (D-NJ)
Ways & Means
Chairman: Kevin Brady (R-TX)
Ranking: Richard Neal (D-MA)
Education & Workforce
Chairman: Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
Ranking: Bobby Scott (D-VA)
Chairman: Todd Rokita (R-IN)*
Ranking: John Yarmuth (D-KY)
Chairman: Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ)
Ranking: Nita Lowey (D-NY)

Key Congressional Dates in 2017
Congress and President-elect Donald Trump will face a slew of tough legislative deadlines in 2017. It will be an abrupt change from 2016, when lawmakers faced few make-or-break dates except for avoiding a government shutdown. GOP lawmakers are eager to move as many top policy priorities for Trump as possible in his first 100 days, including repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on his first day as president. Tax reform and an infrastructure investment bill are two other possible priorities for the new administration. The Senate will also be kept busy voting to confirm dozens of nominees to Trump’s administration.

Beyond that informal deadline, Congress faces a number of specific deadlines that will require action.
  • March 16: Current debt-limit deal expires.
  • April 28: Deadline to fund the government and avoid a shutdown after CR expires.
  • April 30: President-elect Trump’s 100th day in office.
  • September 30: Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funding ends.

The next edition of the Capitol Connection will be published on February 7, 2017.

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