As Fiscal Deadlines Loom, Lawmakers Raise the Prospect of Entitlement Cuts
Two fiscal deadlines for the federal government are quickly approaching. The first deadline, November 3, is for Congress to raise the federal debt limit in order to prevent the government from risking default. The next deadline, December 11, is for Congress to pass legislation funding the federal government in order to prevent a government shutdown. In Congressional negotiations over both deadlines, some lawmakers have raised the prospect of potential spending cuts, including cuts to programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is carefully monitoring the negotiations and opposes any offset that would impose home health copays or include payment rate cuts.
Some Republicans have expressed disagreement with raising the debt ceiling without making entitlement cuts. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew testified before the Senate Finance Committee earlier this week and called for a “clean” debt limit increase, meaning one without spending cuts. Following the hearing, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch reportedly said Lew’s position was “business as usual” and that “we all know we need to curtail [entitlement] programs.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on Wednesday, “Obviously, we [Republicans] don't prefer a clean debt ceiling.”
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