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Senate ends Government shutdown, announces CHIP reauthorization

photo courtesy Telesouth Communications, Inc.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran voted to end a partial government shutdown and reiterated his call for a broad budget agreement to keep the U.S. military and other government programs funded.

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate voted 81-18 to advance a continuing resolution (CR) to fund federal programs through Feb. 8, while also reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years. Enacting the CR effectively ends a partial government shutdown that began at midnight Friday, Jan. 19 when Democrats forced a dispute over illegal immigration issues.

“I am pleased we’ve moved past this unfortunate and unnecessary government shutdown,” said U.S. Senator Thad Cochran. “We must use the next few weeks to reach a budget agreement and begin to address other national priorities.  My committee is more than ready to get to work to finalize the 2018 appropriations bills.”

Cochran, who voted in 1997 to create the health insurance program for children, praised provisions in the CR to extend CHIP through 2023.  More than 80,000 children in Mississippi are eligible for benefits.

“With this legislation, families in Mississippi and around the country will have the assurance that Children’s Health Insurance Program benefits will remain available,” Cochran said.  “This is a program that has long enjoyed bipartisan support and its reauthorization was needlessly endangered by the shutdown.”

The passed legislation will also delay, for two years, the implementation of the medical device tax and the “Cadillac Tax” on health care.

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