Federal Public Policy Priorities

8/4/17 update on Congressional activity:

On Thursday, 8/4/2017, Congress officially adjourned on recess.

The federal budget

The current fiscal year ends on September 30, meaning that Congress must act before then to keep the government running. Here's what we know, as of 8/4/2017:

  • A short-term budget plan is likely: According to reports from our contacts in Washington, DC, it is all but certain that Congress will use a Continuing Resolution (short term plan) rather than passing a comprehensive and long term budget for fiscal year 2018.
  • Even before passing the budget, Congress will have to raise the debt ceiling. Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin set a Sept. 29 deadline for raising the nation’s "debt ceiling", which is the amount the U.S. can borrow to pay its bills. Together, this sets up a high-pressure few weeks for Congress when they return from recess at the beginning of September.       

Healthcare legislation

Having failed to pass a repeal and replacement bill for the current healthcare law, known as the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare”, the Senate is now moving toward bi-partisan and public hearings about healthcare, which are scheduled for early September. We can be proud that this is happening under the leadership of Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander in his role as Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pension (HELP) Committee. Read more about the public hearings here.

From summer 2017: The Council developed this one-page fact sheet to explain how cuts to Medicaid might impact Tennesseans with intellectual and developmental disabilities who use Medicaid for their healthcare and for long-term services and supports, or home- and community-based services like those provided through the CHOICES program, waivers through the Dept. of Intellectual and developmental disabilities, and the new Employment and Community First CHOICES program.

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This Page Last Updated: August 24, 2017 at 12:05 pm