Congress at a Stalemate over Budget Funding

  • by AGD Washington Advocacy Representative
  • Jan 19, 2018

At the time of this writing, Congress is still scrambling to reach an agreement over the budget and immigration before funding for the government expires at midnight on Jan. 19, 2018.

On Jan. 18, the House voted 230-197 to pass another short-term funding measure that would keep federal operations running through Feb. 16 while Democrats, Republicans and the White House negotiate on a budget for defense and domestic programs and legislation to protect some undocumented immigrants from deportation. The bill passed by the House contains a provision to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years. It also contains a provision delaying the implementation of the 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices for another two years (2018-19).

It is unclear whether the Senate will take up this bill, a shorter stopgap measure, or a larger compromise package. In addition to opposition from the Democrats, a number of Senate Republicans are also opposed to adopting another short-term funding measure, citing concerns about its impact on the military and the lack of a broader agreement on spending for the rest of fiscal 2018. Absent Congressional action, however, funding for the government will lapse, forcing a shutdown.

Impact on General Dentistry: The AGD will continue to monitor congressional budget negotiations and their potential impacts on key oral health programs and general dentistry.