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Congress will make a brief appearance in Washington beginning September 10 to resolve a few outstanding issues before a planned mid-September adjournment until after the November elections.
At the top of the September agenda is the stop-gap spending bill to keep the federal government in operation when the new fiscal year begins October 1. According to the agreement reached among congressional leaders a few weeks ago, the spending bill will last through April 1, 2013.
We want to make sure this bill contains the $425 million the House of Representatives approved in June. We are especially concerned that the funding amount include the $50 million the House bill provided for new construction of Section 202 housing. We received no new construction money in 2012; we cannot go another year without it.
We also are urging Congress to pass H.R. 1543 and S. 818, legislation to ensure that if Medicare beneficiaries are hospitalized for more than 24 hours, they are counted as in-patients qualifying for Medicare coverage of a subsequent nursing home stay. Realistically, any congressional action on these measures would be most likely to occur in the lame duck session that will follow the elections.
Please contact your member of Congress as soon as possible on these two vital issues.