The House was not in session last week, so focus shifted to the Senate and the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016, which passed on Thursday, March 10 in a 94-1 vote. This bill authorizes funding for programs to combat prescription opioid abuse and increases the availability of naloxone, a drug that treats overdoses.
There is talk that the Senate may begin work on to the bipartisan Energy legislation, but that is uncertain. There are two holds on the bill which has complicated the way forward. If they are able to sort out differences, expect the bill to come to the floor this week.
This week, both chambers are in session. Republicans continue to debate on how to move forward with the budget. One faction wants to stick with the spending deal that former Speaker John Boehner struck last fall, while others want to cut the spending levels. The House GOP hopes to use a package of tax bills to mend differences between the two factions. The bills are expected to be marked up next week, ahead of a full House vote on the budget resolution. The bills are expected to create $16 billion in savings, totaling $98 billion over ten years and is intended to appease the fiscal conservative faction that wants to cut spending levels.