Congress Passes Final FY 2017 Spending Bill
Ending months of uncertainty, Congress passed its final Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 spending bill on Thursday, March 4. The bill passed with bipartisan support in both chambers by a vote of 309-118 in the House and 79-18 in the Senate. For details on FY 2017 funding levels for affordable housing and community development investments, see NLIHC’s analysis here.
The spending bill now heads to President Trump’s desk for his signature.
House Republicans Vote To Repeal the Affordable Care Act
House Republicans voted to pass legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), President Obama’s signature health reform law. The House approved the measure by a vote of 217-213, just one vote more than the 216 needed. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration through a procedure known as a budget reconciliation that only requires 51 votes. Despite the lower threshold, it is unclear if the bill has enough support to be enacted in its current form.
Under the American Health Care Act (AHCA), an estimated 24 million people would lose their healthcare coverage. The bill would eliminate the funding available under the ACA and would roll back the ACA expansion of Medicaid that includes funding for supportive housing services that benefit people experiencing homelessness. These changes will be devastating to low income families who depend on Medicaid for access to healthcare and supportive services.
Republicans tried to bring the bill up for a vote last month, but had to pull the bill at the last minute when they could not drum up enough votes to support the bill. After some last-minute deal making, enough moderate Republicans who had initially opposed AHCA changed their position, allowing Republican leadership to bring the bill to the House floor for a vote.