September 28, 2021
D.C. News
  • Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would avert a government shutdown and suspend the debt limit. Democratic leaders could now strip out the debt ceiling provision from the funding bill to pass a clean stopgap spending measure quickly through both chambers ahead of the deadline, which Senate Republicans have said they would support, but it’s not yet clear what will happen. Top House Democrats have voiced a new willingness to pare down their ambitious health care proposals, including the $400 billion to boost long-term care; expanding Medicaid to more than 2 million people in states that have not expanded; and adding dental, hearing, and vision benefits to Medicare. (Articles here, here, here, here, here, and here)
  • President Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell President Biden received their COVID-19 booster shots. President Biden touted the third dose as “safe and effective” while McConnell said his choice to get the third dose was “an easy decision.” Both said that even though the booster doses provide more enduring protection against the virus, they weren’t the silver bullet to ending the pandemic. (Articles here, here, here, here, and here)
  • Peter Marks, a top regulator at the FDA, took over as acting director of the agency’s vaccines office. Marks said would “help to assure a smooth transition” after two career scientists who publicly questioned the need for widespread COVID-19 booster shots announced plans to leave the FDA. Meanwhile, Henry Walke, who has led the CDC’s COVID-19 response for more than a year, is stepping back from the role but will remain at the agency, three people with knowledge of the matter said. (Articles here, here, and here)