Health Care -- Bipartisan Support for Blocking Bush Medicaid Rule: CQ reports ($) that a House bill that would block the president's Medicaid rule changes is gaining support among Republicans. The proposed rule changes would shift about $17.8 billion (over five years) in Medicaid costs to states. The bill, H.R. 5613, will be marked up today in the Committee on Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee. War Spending -- Iraq Supplemental May Have Additional Stimulus Spending: After last week's deterioration of employment data released by the government, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), along with Democratic House leaders, are calling for adding extension of unemployment benefits to the upcoming Iraq war spending bill. House Republicans have vowed to oppose additional stimulus spending. CongressDaily ($) Inequality -- CBPP/EPI: Income Inequality Continues to Rise: The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute have released a lengthy report analyzing state-by-state data on income trends. The report concludes that "The gap between the richest and poorest families...grew significantly in most states over the past two decades...In fact, the nation's longstanding trend of growing inequality accelerated since the late 1990s as incomes fell for poor families in a number of states." CBPP/EPI Report Executive Summary Taxes -- "Extenders" Package Could Move Before End of May: Sen. Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) hopes to introduce, mark up and bring the extenders package of tax cuts to the Senate floor before the start of the Memorial Day Recess in May. The legislation would be fully offset, cover two years (2008 and 2009), and cost about $50 billion. Baucus would not pin down a date for introducing the measure, but stressed the need to get work done early: "We've got to do as much as we can during this work period." BNA ($)
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