Congress takes victory lap on 'doc fix'

Leaders of both parties are taking a victory lap after achieving a long-awaited repeal of Medicare’s flawed payment formula known as the “doc fix.”

President Obama is expected to sign the bill early Wednesday, eliminating the “sustainable growth rate” nearly 20 years after it was created by Congress.

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"Stick a fork in it, it's finally done,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton wrote in a statement late Tuesday.

The annual SGR deadline has forced lawmakers into a painful annual ritual to pass legislation to avert the substantial payments cuts for doctors.

"Years of hard work have finally paid off,” House Ways and Means Chairman Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAmash: Trump incorrect in claiming Congress didn't subpoena Obama officials Democrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Three-way clash set to dominate Democratic debate MORE (R-Wis.) also wrote in a statement. “The big bipartisan support behind it gives me confidence that we can still do big things around here.”

Several House committees, including Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means, had spent years trying to undo the automatic payment cuts, which has caused yearly spending battles in Congress.

Attempts to repeal the SGR had been repeatedly thwarted by fiscal conservatives who demanded that Congress find a way to pay for the legislation, which would make permanent the annual raises to doctors.

This year, Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFrom learning on his feet to policy director Is Congress retrievable? Boehner reveals portrait done by George W. Bush MORE (R-Ohio) negotiated a deal with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that would only pay for part of the cost, but would also make reforms to make the program more sustainable in the long-term.

“This reform bill is a big deal,” BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFrom learning on his feet to policy director Is Congress retrievable? Boehner reveals portrait done by George W. Bush MORE wrote in a statement just after the bill passed. “For the first time in nearly two decades — and without raising taxes — Congress has come together in a bipartisan way to pass meaningful entitlement reform.”

The Senate passed the House’s version of the bill just hours before this year’s deadline, which would have triggered 21 percent payment cuts. Senators voted down six amendments on the bill to ultimately reach a final vote of 92-8.

“It’s another reminder of a new Republican Congress that’s back to work,” McConnell wrote in a statement after the passage.