April 1st, 2010
02:23 PM ET
10 years ago

What programs did Congress leave unfunded?

The Senate left for recess before taking up the Continuing Extension Act of 2010.

The Senate left for recess before taking up the Continuing Extension Act of 2010.

(CNN) - The Senate left town for its spring recess without taking up a bill that would patch funding for unemployment benefits and other programs.

Lawmakers plan to take up the Continuing Extension Act of 2010 when they return later this month, but until then, several programs will be left in the dark.

Here are some of the programs affected:

Unemployment benefits and COBRA

Extended unemployment benefits will expire for more than 200,000 people on Monday because the Senate failed to pass the House version of the extension of deadlines to apply for federal unemployment benefits and the COBRA health insurance subsidy.

This means those receiving state jobless benefits won't be able to apply for additional federally paid unemployment insurance, and anyone already receiving those checks could be cut off. They also won't be able to sign up for the 65 percent federal subsidy for COBRA unemployment insurance.

Key Democrats said they hope to pass a retroactive extension, compensating the unemployed for a gap in funding, after they return from recess the week of April 12. If approved, it would be the seventh time the deadline has been extended since June 2008.

Cut in Medicare payments to doctors

Starting April 1, doctors are slated to be hit with a 21 percent reimbursement cut to payments they receive for Medicare services. The legislation would have extended a freeze on the reduction for another month.

The "doc-fix," which would have permanently increased Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors, did not make the final version of the recently passed health care reform legislation. It would have cost more than $200 billion over 10 years.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services asked its contractors to hold claims for some services for 10 days, allowing Congress more time to take up the legislation.

The CMS expects a minimum impact on doctors since claims are not paid for at least two weeks after being received.

National Flood Insurance Program

The National Flood Insurance Program's authorization expired last Sunday. Until the lapse ends, the NFIP cannot issue new policies, increase coverage on existing policies or issue renewal policies, according to FEMA.

Poverty guidelines

The bill extends the use of 2009 poverty guidelines for federal programs through April 30, therefore preventing having to lower the poverty line, according to the House Committee on Ways and Means. This would prevent some people from being excluded from programs including Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

- CNN's Ted Barret and Kristi Keck and CNNMoney's Jennifer Liberto and Jeanne Sahadi contributed to this report.

Filed under: Congress • Health care • Jobs
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Bruce

    Again, you have to blame the Dummycrats. They have total control. Of course ANTYHING the Dummycrats control usually gets screwed up anyway so this isn't a big surprise.

    April 1, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  2. Navy Vet

    The Republicans have held each one of these up. Why because when Dr's aren't paid and people lose their unemployment, Obama will get the blame.

    They don't care about us poor average folk, all they care about is getting elected at any cost. Even if that cost is to us.

    April 1, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. MnMary

    What a shame! While the big fat cats of Capitol Hill are enjoying their Easter or Hanukkah dinners in their big fancy houses, the people who really NEED these unemployment benefits have to do without! Maybe if they would stop spending all their time and energy in political posturing and self-promoting, our Congressman and women would actually be able to do the jobs for which we, the taxpayers, pay them!

    April 1, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  4. kr

    Tell it liike it is Senator like Senator Bunning has put a hold on this bill and will probably continue to hold it up. There is a reson for everything and again it is the voice of NO

    April 1, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  5. Ken in NC

    Hmmmmmmmmm do you know what golf course your Republican is on today? Do you know what tanning salon your Republican is in today? If you answer no to one or both of these questions, fear not for you are not alone. You can get up with them tonight at the club in Hollywood and bring your check book. They are going to need it..

    April 1, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "Extended unemployment benefits will expire for more than 200,000 people on Monday because the Senate failed to pass the House version of the extension of deadlines to apply for federal unemployment benefits and the COBRA health insurance subsidy."

    Thank you GOP for using the 41% majority rule. Those horrible unemployed and COBRA-insured people will hopefully just die off now so we have less of those dope-smoking Oprah-watching lazy welfare using people, right? Never mind the rich elite Wall Street gambling games that lost 7 million people their jobs in the space of 2 years...those people only lost their jobs because they were too stupid and lazy to be a powerful CEO with a golden parachute the size of a small country's GNP in the first place, right?

    That list above is fantastic by the way. Anyone else super psyched by the results of obstructionism? I'm positively aglow over how unhelpful Congress is when one party is refusing to do a d-mn thing because they think it's to their advantage to keep the public suffering so they can blame the party in control. 3 cheers for angry pouting ideologues! I sure hope nothing else gets done for the rest of the year!

    April 1, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  7. ivan

    With the right to know doctrine that the press pushes, why did you not let the readers the reason that unemployement benefits were not extended was because one Republican Senator put a hold on that bill.

    April 1, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  8. Whimsy1

    Really, the two party political system in this country is going to bring us to our knees. For congress to spend time taking shots at one another instead of actually doing something constructive like governing is appalling. Both parties need to buckle down, govern, fund programs or scrap them, and get over the power plays and name calling. We need adults, not spoiled children, in the halls of Congress.
    Get rid of the labels, stop the name calling and do the job you were elected to do.

    April 1, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  9. Dano

    Now I'm fairly liberal but at what point does endless extensions of unemployment benefits become welfare?

    April 1, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  10. "Tea Party Texan"

    OBAMA don't give a darn about the unemployed for they are not his people. his supporters were unemplyed to start with.

    April 1, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  11. one voice

    The GOP would've tried to blocked this legislation anyway because they don't care about the common man. November can't get here fast enough!!!

    April 1, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  12. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Hopefuly all? Looks like a bunch of entitlements to me.

    April 1, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |