Also in the news, the Senate approves legislation to reauthorize federal research and intervention activities to lower the rate of premature births.
Politico: Appropriations Panels Quietly Work On Omnibus
Talks on the giant labor, education and health chapter are lagging because the chief House Republican negotiator, Rep. Denny Rehberg, was preoccupied so long with his Senate campaign in Montana. But enough progress has been made overall that even a reluctant White House is beginning to take notice of the committees' persistence. Indeed, if the fiscal cliff debt talks end up requiring more cuts from discretionary spending, an updated omnibus would be a far better vehicle for implementing new savings than the six-month stopgap bill that is keeping the government funded (Rogers, 11/18).
The Hill: Senate Passes Bill To Help Prevent Premature Birth
The Senate reauthorized federal research and intervention activities on premature births in a voice vote Thursday night. The PREEMIE Reauthorization Act continues programs established by the 2006 bill, which made the study and prevention of premature births an explicit federal priority. "The PREEMIE Reauthorization Act will save infants' lives," said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes, in a statement. "Preterm birth rates have now dropped for five consecutive years after rising steadily for three decades. The PREEMIE Reauthorization Act will continue to fuel our progress by supporting federal research and promoting known interventions and community initiatives" (Viebeck, 11/16).