The House will vote next week on a fiscal 2005 budget resolution that includes up to $2.2 billion in Medicaid cuts over five years. The House Budget Committee passed the resolution in a 24-19 vote Wednesday. It would require the Energy and Commerce Committee to eliminate about $2.2 billion from programs under its jurisdiction, most likely Medicaid. The Senate last week passed a budget plan that excludes Medicaid cuts. Before debate in the full Senate, the Senate plan would have mandated up to $11 billion in Medicaid cuts over five years. Differences between the two chambers' final versions will be resolved in a conference committee.
In other congressional news, the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct said it will establish a subcommittee to investigate allegations that Rep. Nick Smith (R-Mich.) was offered a bribe by fellow lawmakers to vote for last year's Medicare reform law. Specifically, the subcommittee will examine charges that Smith was offered support for the congressional candidacy of his son in exchange for his vote on the controversial legislation, which passed the House in a 220-215 vote last November. Smith voted against the bill. Members of the subcommittee have not been named. -- by Tony Fong and Jeff Tieman