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Congress: Priorities

Republicans unveiled a budget that would cut funding from the health-care law, NPR, and “Race to the Top.” It’s not likely going anywhere in committee, however, because some Republicans think it still includes too much spending.

“As the deficit reduction supercommittee hunts for $1.5 trillion in additional savings, US hospital executives are so worried about having their payments cut that they plan to start lobbying Congress next week to shift the burden onto their elderly patients - specifically by raising the age of eligibility for Medicare,” the Boston Globe reports. “The American Hospital Association is rallying hundreds of hospital leaders to descend upon the Capitol on Tuesday and urge legislators to consider increasing the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67 as one way to save money without reducing payments to hospitals. That move is so controversial that President Obama, who once expressed a willingness to entertain the change in Medicare age eligibility, omitted it from his deficit-reduction proposal last week.”

The House approved the short-term spending bill yesterday. “There had been worries that a Tea Party lawmaker would show up and shout out an objection - derailing the whole shebang and starting the ‘government shutdown’ clocks again,” the Washington Post writes. “But none showed. And two seconds of silence was all it took.”

“Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said, at the moment, Democrats in Congress don’t have the votes to pass President Obama’s jobs bill, but Durbin added that that situation would change,” The Hill writes of Durbin’s appearance on a Chicago radio show.