On Thursday, the House passed a budget reconciliation bill (HR 5652) that would override automatic cuts scheduled to take effect next year and instead cut entitlement spending, the Washington Times reports.
The bill passed 218-199 on a mostly party-line vote, with 16 Republicans and all 183 Democrats voting against it. The measure is not likely to advance in the Democrat-controlled Senate (Dinan, Washington Times, 5/10). Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) already has said he will not bring the measure up for debate (Newhauser, Roll Call, 5/10).
The House-approved bill also would repeal the federal health reform law's Prevention and Public Health Trust Fund, reduce the federal Medicaid match to states and impose stricter eligibility standards for Medicaid (Wasson/Kasperowicz, "On the Money," The Hill, 5/10).
GOP To Introduce Budget Plans On Senate Floor
Senate Republicans are expected to offer several budget plans on the floor next week, CQ Today reports. The party is expected to offer budgets written by Sens. Mike Lee (Utah), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Patrick Toomey (Pa.), as well as House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) House-passed fiscal year 2013 budget proposal and a Republican version of Obama's budget blueprint.
The legislation is unlikely to gain enough support to be debated and voted on. However, Republicans will introduce the bills to remind observers that the Senate has not formerly adopted a budget resolution for three years, according to CQ Today (Krawzak, CQ Today, 5/10).
Report Shows Impact of Automatic Cuts on Health Agencies
Should lawmakers fail to pass legislation to block the automatic cuts, federal health agencies would face millions of dollars in cuts, according to a report by Research America, CQ HealthBeat reports.
According to RA -- a group that lobbies for medical research funding -- the sequestration would result in NIH losing $2.39 billion, CDC losing $445 million, FDA losing $191 million and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality losing $29 million in FY 2013.
The report based the dollar amounts on a projection by the Congressional Budget Office that the automatic cuts would reduce each of the agencies' budgets by 7.8% (Reichard, CQ HealthBeat, 5/10).