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Senate clashes with House on spending bill that affects IHCIA

The Senate and the House are headed for a showdown on a spending bill that eliminates funds for the Affordable Care Act, the 2009 law that reauthorized the Indian Health Care Improvement Act.

The Republican-controlled House voted 230-189 on Friday to pass H.J.Res.59. The bill continues funding for all federal agencies but it prevents any of the money from being used to implement the ACA, a move that would affect a wide range of programs at the Indian Health Service.

Democratic leaders in the Senate plan to remove the anti-ACA language from the measure this week. But some Republicans who are aligned with the Tea Party vowed to block debate even though top GOP leaders said they wouldn't join that effort.

A final vote in the Senate is expected this weekend. The bill would then be sent back to the House, which must take action by October 1 in order to avert a government shutdown.

In the House, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma) and Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma) voted to pass the bill that defunds ACA and the IHCIA. Cole and Mullin are the only two enrolled tribal members in the 113th Congress.

Get the Story:
Shutdown looming, Senate begins debating spending measure (The Washington Post 9/24)
Senate Democratic Leader Sets Stage for Budget Showdown (The New York Times 9/24)
Senate sets test votes on defunding health care and preventing partial government shutdown (AP 9/23)
House Bill Links Health Care Law and Budget Plan (The New York Times 9/22)

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Mark Trahant: Republicans are willing to destroy IHS system (9/19)

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