Republicans highlight new provisions in the Medicaid assistance bill

The Republican Policy Committee on Tuesday morning sent out a memo to staffers highlighting the major changes in the Senate bill that extends enhanced federal Medicaid funding to states for six months.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) tabled the initial bill Monday afternoon after it received a bad score from the Congressional Budget Office. Reid then filed for cloture on the new bill, which contains the same $16.1 billion, phased-down Medicaid enhancement as the original bill; a vote is expected Wednesday.

The major changes include:

- Paring back the enhanced food stamp benefits provided under the recovery act one year earlier than previously expected, starting March 31, 2014, instead of 2015;

- Eliminating the Advanced Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which allows individuals to receive a portion of the Earned Income Tax Credit in their paychecks. This means workers would no longer be able to receive an advance payment of their expected EITC through their employer;

- Establishing new rules for electing a foreign tax credit in certain situations involving the acquisition of covered assets;

- Eliminating $238 million in offsets coming from the Navy;

- Eliminating $300 million in offsets from the Rural Utilities Service Distance Learning, Telemedicine and Broadband Program;

- Eliminating $361.8 million from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for women, infants and children.