As this 114th Congress comes to an end, here’s an overview of the 114th republican led Congress by the numbers:
The House has been in session for just 217 days as of December 6, compared to 252 days in session at this same point during the Democratic-led 111th Congress.
There have been 75 closed rules so far this Congress – which limit debate, reduce transparency, and block Members from offering amendments on legislation.
21 major pieces of legislation have been signed into law. A total of 248 bills have been signed into law, compared to 290 bills signed into law. Republicans have voted 65 times total to repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act this Congress.
The 114th Congress was unable to pass a Budget or Complete the Appropriations Process.
As the 114th Congress comes to a close, the House left some important work on the table, such as:
- Taking action to address gun violence in America;
- Taking up legislation to raise the minimum wage, secure equal pay, or offer paid sick and family leave;
- Addressing student debt;
- Putting our nation on a fiscally sustainable path;
- Fixing our broken immigration system; and
- Protecting voting rights.
Looking towards the 115th Congress which will be led by Republicans as they take control of both Congress and the White House, it is the responsibility of their leaders to govern and address the issues most important to the American people.
Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued a final rule to permit full practice authority for three out of four recognized roles of VA advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) which include Certified Nurse Practitioners (NPs), Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) and Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs). The VA has taken an important step to ensure veterans have access to the timely, effective and efficient care they have earned.
However, ANA remains concerned with the final rule’s exclusion of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNAs), which is solely based on the VA’s belief that there is no evidence of a shortage of anesthesiologists impacting access to care.
ANA joins our colleagues in advocating for CRNAs to have full practice authority within the VA health care system.
The VA has provided an additional 30-day comment period on full practice authority for CRNAs.
Good things come to those who wait…at least, it could be said for the 114th Congress.
On December 7th, the Senate passed a package of important health policy advancements aimed at encouraging health care innovation, improving mental health service coverage, expanding opioid treatment programs, and investing in medical research. The package of bills now moves to the President’s desk for his signature. Throughout the year, ANA advocated strongly for many of the key policy victories contained in last night’s vote, including:
- The ‘21st Century Cures Act’ seeks to make the Food and Drug Administration’s approval process for new drugs more efficient and invests $4.8 billion in new medical research at the National Institutes of Health
- Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act,” H.R. 2646, and the Mental Health Reform Act, S. 2680, – represents comprehensive reforms to mental-health programs at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration within Department of Health and Human Services.
- Funding for Cancer Research: provides funding for $1.8b for Vice President Joe Biden’s “cancer moonshot” program.
- Fighting the Opioid Epidemic: Provides $1 billion over two years to fight the opioid epidemic. ANA worked closely with Congress and the White House throughout the year to pass legislation and secure enough funding to ensure greater access to treatment services.