Legislative Insights, September 14

SLAA News,

What to Watch This Week

The House Returns This Week: While the Senate returned to the Capitol last week, this week, the House joins them.

Stimulus Deal in Peril: A combination of revived deficit concerns among some Republicans and a bet by progressive Democrats that the president would be forced to go along with the largest stimulus yet proposed -- beyond the $2 trillion enacted in March -- crippled negotiations, which broke off in early August. All signs seem to indicate that we will not see movement on a stimulus deal until after the election.

CDC Reports Disputed: According to several news reports, U.S. health department spokesman Michael Caputo and other aides were asked to read and suggest changes to weekly Covid-19 reports by the Centers for Disease Control.  Health and Human Services Department communications aides complained to CDC Director Robert Redfield that the reports would undermine Trump’s upbeat messaging about the pandemic.

Trump Signs Drug Pricing Order: President Trump started a process that could cut some drug costs by tying prices to those paid by countries with national health systems, a move drug makers said will stifle innovation. The order yesterday came after an earlier attempt to force pharmaceutical companies to make reductions didn’t yield results.

Last Week's Highlights

Job Losses Continue: Applications for U.S. state jobless benefits held steady last week, a sign extensive loss are persisting as the nation struggles to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Initial jobless claims in regular states’ programs were unchanged at 884,000 in the week ending on September 5, Labor Department data showed. Continuing claims rose 93,000 to 13.4 million in the week ending on August 29.