Congress to vote this week on $1.3T spending bill, but disputes remain over immigration, Planned Parenthood

Washington, D.C. National Capitol Building
Congress is still divided over several provisions that are being added to the $1.3 trillion spending bill approved last month. (Getty/tupungato)

Congress will once again try to hammer out an agreement with the Trump administration to finalize a $1.3 trillion spending bill by midnight Friday and avoid another government shutdown.

RELATED: Trump signs $400B budget deal that funds healthcare programs, reopens government after overnight shutdown

The text of the bill is expected to be released later today. 

Free Daily Newsletter

Like this story? Subscribe to FierceHealthcare!

The healthcare sector remains in flux as policy, regulation, technology and trends shape the market. FierceHealthcare subscribers rely on our suite of newsletters as their must-read source for the latest news, analysis and data impacting their world. Sign up today to get healthcare news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

The bill would implement the spending agreement reached last month, but lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are trying to include several controversial policy riders into the legislation, such as protections for young immigrants under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and a plan for federal subsidies to cover out-of-pocket costs under the Affordable Care Act, according to the Associated Press.

The DACA program allows undocumented Americans who were brought to the country as young children by their parents to continue their employment, education, training and research in the U.S. In September, President Donald Trump ordered the DACA program to end in March, but a federal court has kept the program in place for now.

RELATED: Supreme Court decision keeps DACA recipients in limbo

Also at issue: Two abortion-related provisions. The first provision, by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., would ensure that Planned Parenthood receives a share of federal family planning grants. The other, supported by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., would strengthen protections for healthcare providers who refuse to provide abortions for moral or religious reasons.

RELATED: Opponents say controversial new HHS ‘religious freedom’ division a ‘prescription for discrimination’

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, told The Hill that negotiations over the most controversial provisions stalled in recent days, but she wouldn’t provide further details. Meanwhile, the publication reports that the Trump administration is open to extending DACA protections for three years if the spending bill includes funding for the border wall for three years.

The House hopes to vote on the bill by Wednesday, which gives the Senate only two days to come to an agreement and avoid another government shutdown. 

Suggested Articles

Medicare Part D beneficiaries could see their out-of-pocket costs go up next year before they reach catastrophic coverage, a new analysis shows.

California health officials have released their first report on the price hikes drug companies sought to shield.

NYC Health + Hospitals plans to upgrade millions of imaging technologies across the health system as part of a $224 million deal with GE Healthcare.