House to vote on funding for Children's Health Insurance Program next week

House to vote on funding for Children's Health Insurance Program next week
© Greg Nash

The House will vote on extending funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program next week, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced Thursday.

The long-awaited vote comes after Republicans and Democrats failed to reach an agreement following weeks of negotiating ways to pay for the program.

"The reason why we're bringing it up next week is not because next week was the date we wanted to. We wanted to get this done long ago, but the reason why we're doing it next week is because Minnesota's about to run out of money," McCarthy said on the floor.

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Funding for the program technically expired at the end of September, but states have enough funding to last for a few months.

Minnesota and other states could run out of funding in November.

The Energy and Commerce Committee earlier this month passed a bill extending funding for CHIP for five years with no support from Democrats.

Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) delayed sending the bill to the floor for a vote to continue negotiations with Democrats on offsets.

McCarthy said Thursday those negotiations have not worked out.

"Chairman Greg Walden three times was asked to delay by the ranking Democrat on the committee, even though we know a timeline is about to hit a number of states that they cannot wait because of lack of action," McCarthy said.

"Only yesterday I was told Democrats said they don't want to do anything and we should just go forward. That is not the way this place should work."

Democrats took issue with offsets that would cut funding to ObamaCare's public health fund and charge higher premiums to Medicare beneficiaries earning more than $500,000 a year.

The bill would also cut the grace period for ObamaCare enrollees who fail to make premium payments.

The Senate Finance Committee also approved a bipartisan five-year extension for CHIP earlier this month but has not yet said what the offsets will be.