AMSN Legislative Brief October 2019

  • Posted on: 5 November 2019
  • By: AMSN

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a major AMSN legislative priority on Oct. 28, the Title 8 Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act (HR 728). During debate, bill sponsor Rep. David Joyce (R-OH) said, “By passing this legislation, Congress can make a direct investment in our nation’s health.” Original cosponsor Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), said, “Demand for health care services provided by nurses continues to grow, and we must expand and support these programs to maintain a highly educated nursing workforce.” Adopted by voice vote, HR 728 now moves to the U.S. Senate for further action.

After hearing from an AMSN member call to action, a key Senate committee took favorable action on the Senate version of Title 8 nurse workforce development legislation (S 1399). By voice vote on Oct. 31, the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee approved the AMSN-backed bill and sent it to the Senate floor for further action. Using the new AMSN Legislative Action Center, AMSN members sent 59 messages to members of the Senate HELP Committee urging support for this bipartisan legislation. The bill’s next step is to be scheduled for action on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

What’s AMSN’s advocacy agenda? And how can AMSN members help achieve it? A webinar from AMSN Legislative Team chair Yalanda Comeaux and Legislative Consultant Frank Purcell the afternoon of Nov. 4 provides answers to these critical questions for medical-surgical nurses. Nurses advocate every day for their patients in the health care delivery setting – nurses can also advocate for patients among federal and state legislators, policymakers and health care industry leaders. The webinar will be available soon as a recording online and will provide nurses 1 hour of CNE / 1.0 contact hours.

Congress and the Administration are behind schedule approving appropriations legislation needed for the smooth operation of health care and nursing education programs for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. Uncle Sam is running on temporary “continuing resolution” or CR funds through Nov. 21. A government shutdown can be averted if lawmakers adopt and the president signs another temporary CR in advance of the Nov. 21 deadline, which ensures level funding for most programs. Alternatively, Congress and the Administration can adopt their 2020 appropriations bills. That’s possible but not as likely.

Your AMSN Legislative Action Center has two agenda items for members to be heard on Capitol Hill. One is to urge the whole U.S. Senate to take up and pass S 1399, the Title 8 Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act. The other is to support an evidence-based public health approach to reducing gun violence by supporting mandatory background checks (HR 8), supporting $50 million in research funding through the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and supporting care not stigma for persons with mental illness. To make your voice heard today, click below!

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