Category: Federal


Historic COVID-19 Emergency Spending Bill Passes Congress

Today the House of Representatives passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) via a voice vote. Speaker Pelosi acknowledged during her remarks on the floor that the CARES Act was not perfect and that Congress would have to do more in a fourth package. Many representatives sat up in the gallery…

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Third Round of Federal COVID-19 Legislation Discussions Continue

Last night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released the details of a Senate Republican plan for a third round of proposals aimed to address the COVID-19 crisis. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act is a nearly $1 trillion package. Major provisions include: $300 billion for loans for impacted small businesses….

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Coronavirus Spending Bill Sails through Congress

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives (415-2) and Senate (96-1) both overwhelmingly passed an emergency spending package to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) that has been spreading throughout the United States. President Trump signed the measure this morning at the White House. The $8.3 billion spending bill provides funding to various federal agencies responsible for…

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Trump Releases Federal FY 2021 Budget Blueprint

This week, the Trump Administration released their federal fiscal year 2021 budget blueprint, which outlines the President’s policy priorities for the next budget year beginning on October 1, 2020. These documents define the Administration’s plans for the federal government, but also serve as the opening gambit to negotiations with Congress. In a record-breaking $4.8 trillion…

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CDC Reports Slight Increase in U.S. Life Expectancy

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data on Thursday, finding that U.S. life expectancy at birth slightly increased from 78.6 years to 78.7 years. The slight increase was the first since 2014 when the U.S. life expectancy had been declining, largely due to suicides and drug overdoses. The latest data available…

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U.S. Surgeon General Issues Report on Smoking Cessation

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams recently issued a report on smoking cessation, the 34th tobacco-related Surgeon General report published since 1964. In 1990, the Surgeon General issued the report, The Health Benefits of Smoking Cessation. The latest report summarizes the latest evidence on the health benefits of smoking cessation, including recent scientific evidence on the…

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CDC Launches New Physical Activity Initiative

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently launched a new initiative, “Active People, Healthy Nation,” with a goal of helping 27 million Americans become more physically active by 2027. The initiative uses five steps to coordinate actions to achieve its goal through supporting physical activity initiatives at the national, state, and local…

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Congress Passes $1.4 Trillion Spending Plan, Averts Government Shutdown

This week, Congress approved final federal appropriations packages for Fiscal Year 2020, which officially began on October 1, 2019. Totaling $1.4 trillion, all of the various appropriations bills were bundled into two separate “minibus” packages – one is for most domestic programs and priorities (plus international assistance) and the other is for national security and…

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Federal Appeals Court Finds ACA Individual Mandate Unconstitutional, Sends Case Back to Lower Court for Further Study

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans on Wednesday struck down the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, ruling on a 2-1 vote that the coverage requirement was unconstitutional after Congress in 2017 eliminated the tax penalty that was intended to enforce it. Despite ruling against a core component of the…

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U.S. Senate Confirms Hahn as New FDA Commissioner

The U.S. Senate recently confirmed Stephen Hahn, M.D. as the 24th Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Hahn was confirmed by the Senate on a 72-18 vote. Hahn was previously a professor of radiation oncology and the chief medical officer of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and had not…

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