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Capitol Correspondence - 12.17.19

Congress Strikes FY20 Budget Deal, Extends MFP Until May 2020

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After negotiating over the details of FY20 budget appropriations all weekend, Congressional budget leaders unveiled the full text of a deal that would avert a shutdown and ensure stable federal funding until October 1, 2020.

Today (Tuesday), the House will vote on this deal in two “omnibus” bills: one funding the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Commerce, Justice and various financial and science projects; and the other funding the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS – includes Medicaid), Education, Transportation, Interior, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Veterans Affairs and Congress itself. The Senate is expected to take up and pass the bill before sending it to President Trump for his signature by the end of the week, before funding expires.

Key highlights of this deal relevant to the disability community are:

  • The permanent repeal of the 2.3 percent medical device tax.
  • Two-year renewal of augmented Medicaid funding for U.S. territories.
  • The repeal of the 21 percent unearned business income tax (UBIT), which has been an important issue for ANCOR.
  • Temporary renewal of the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program until May 22, 2020. The MFP renewal was part of a provision funding community health centers, with the May 22 deadline selected because, as reported by Roll Call, it would “create pressure for a Memorial Day deal on legislation to reduce prescription drug prices and crack down on surprise out-of-network medical billing, [a Congressional] aide said. Both of those efforts ran out of steam in the last few weeks as the House and Senate couldn’t agree on details.” ANCOR has joined a coalition letter urging the permanent renewal of the program in the current budget deal.

ANCOR will keep members informed of opportunities for action or new developments as more detail about the deal become known.