On November 3, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the CHIP bill by a 242 to 172 vote. The bill will now be sent to the Senate for consideration and a vote – the next step before it goes to the President to be signed and become law. ANCOR has heard that the Senate will likely delay consideration of the House bill because it is preoccupied with tax reform, and because of disagreements over how to pay for the CHIP bill (Medicaid’s Children Health Insurance Plan) within the Republican caucus. Further complicating the bill’s prospects is the fact that it needs 60 votes to pass as a standalone bill, requiring Democratic cooperation. ANCOR is hearing from folks on the Hill that it is possible that instead of passing CHIP as a standalone bill, the Senate will be incorporated in a “minibus” budget bill during December budget negotiations. A “minibus” bill is a smaller version of an “omnibus” bill, which is a compilation of spending bills that are bundled and voted upon together.
While it is not clear whether the bill will advance as a standalone or as part of a minibus, ANCOR is closely monitoring the CHIP bill’s progress. This is because the minibus process has less transparency and the contents of the bill could change during negotiations about government spending. We will continue to keep membership informed of any potential effects on IDD services.