Congress Returns in September to Full Legislative Agenda
August 8, 2017
Congress l return to Washington, DC on September 5 to begin their busiest month yet. Congress will have a total of 12 days in session where they must address the following pieces of “must pass” legislation:
Increasing the “debt ceiling”
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has urged Congress to increase the nation’s borrowing authority by the end of the fiscal year to avoid a recession and disruption of global financial systems. The debt ceiling was put in place during World War I to set a cap on the amount of money that the federal government can borrow – this amount has been increased several times since then. Increasing the debt ceiling will prevent a federal default.
Avoiding a government shutdown
Congress should complete the Fiscal Year 2018 budget by September 30th—which includes funding for MS research, insurance programs, and caregiver supports. If work on the 2018 budget is not completed, Congress can pass a Continuing Resolution to keep the federal government and its programs funded and operating. If neither of these actions are done by September 30, funding will run out and the federal government will be required to shutdown.
Reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) must be reauthorized before September 30th, when current funding ends. CHIP was enacted in 1997 and provides coverage for 8.9 million children who are low-income but do not qualify for Medicaid.
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