Happy New Year!
Last week the 114th Congress convened for the first time, with Republicans taking charge in the Senate and Senator Mitch McConnell taking the reins as Majority Leader on behalf of the 54-Republican Senate Majority. Senator Harry Reid will serve as Minority Leader for the 44 Democrats and 2 Independents that caucus with the Democrats.
The new House, with an expanded Republican Majority, is currently comprised of 246 Republicans and 188 Democrats, and will once again be helmed by Speaker John Boehner, with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi heading up the House Democrats.
Following the swearing-in ceremonies, the House wasted no time in getting back to business, adopting a rules package to guide the next two years and debating energy legislation. They then voted on H.R. 30, a bill to change an Affordable Care Act requirement that employers provide health coverage to workers who put in at least 30 hours a week, instead opting to limit the requirement to those who worked for at least 40 hours. The bill passed the House by a vote of 252 to 172, and the measure will likely receive additional consideration in the Senate in the coming weeks.
As far as Health Center policy priorities, we are building off positive news late last year that Congress fully funded our FY15 Appropriations request, which would never have happened without all of your dedicated advocacy! We are starting the year off in full swing, redoubling our efforts to fix the funding cliff with a series of targeted visits to key Congressional Leaders, starting with Senator Roy Blunt, who heard our message loud and clear!
As the year unfolds we’ll need your help more than ever in making sure that your Members of Congress not only vocalize their support for health centers, but put that support into action by fixing the primary care funding cliff. We hope to see many of you at the 2015 Policy and Issues Forum (P&I) here in DC in March, when we’ll be storming the Hill once again, making sure that the needs of Health Centers, specifically fixing the funding cliff, remain a top priority for the 114th Congress.