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This Week in Congress: October 5-9, 2009

This week Congress continues to debate health care reform and discusses fiscal year 2010 appropriations bills.

Rush hour traffic on Independence Avenue makes its way past the U.S. Capitol Building. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Rush hour traffic on Independence Avenue makes its way past the U.S. Capitol Building. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Health care

The Senate Finance Committee will vote on health care legislation later this week after the Congressional Budget Office provides scoring estimates on how much the bill will cost. The Finance Committee bill text, complete with amendments, can be found here.

Senate Leadership staff has already begun to combine the language from the HELP Committee-passed version with the Finance Committee draft; that process is expected to finish by October 13, when Senate floor debate on the health care bill is scheduled to begin.

For more on health care reform, see:

A Close Look at the Issues: Health Policy Briefs from CAP’s Experts

Why Health Reform Is the Right Prescription for Health Professionals and Their Patients

CAP Action’s David Balto will testify on Thursday at the House Judiciary Committee hearing on H.R. 3596, the Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2009.

For more on the health insurance market, see:

Too Sick for Health Care: How Insurers Limit and Deny Care in the Individual Health Insurance Market

Ask the Expert: The Broken Individual Health Insurance Market

The Effects of Regulatory Neglect on Health Care Consumers: Testimony of David Balto Before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation

Appropriations

Appropriations bills for fiscal year 2010 continue to dominate the floor agenda in both chambers. The House is expected to vote on the conference report to the FY2010 Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA appropriations bill midweek, and may also vote this week on the conference reports to the Homeland Security appropriations bill, the Interior-Environment appropriations bill, and the defense authorization bill.

The Senate will begin consideration of their version of the FY2010 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill on Monday, but will postpone votes on amendments and final passage until later this week or the following week. The Senate will resume consideration of the FY2010 Defense appropriations bill on Tuesday. Thirteen amendments are pending and final passage is expected Tuesday evening. Following the defense bill, the Senate will either resume consideration of the C-J-S appropriations bill or the conference report to the Energy and Water appropriations bill.

For more on appropriations for fiscal year 2010, see:

The Benefits of Investing in Clean Energy

For Rural America One Answer is Blowing in the Wind

Housing

Andrew Jakabovics will testify on Thursday before the Senate Banking Committee hearing, “The Future of the Mortgage Market and the Housing Enterprises.”

For more on the mortgage market, see:

Unequal Opportunity Lenders? Analyzing Racial Disparities in Big Banks’ Higher-Priced Lending

Grading on a Curve: Performance of Mortgage Service Companies

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