Rural Health Policy UpdateFebruary 2023
SORH Reauthorization Bill Signed into law:
On January 5, 2023, President Joe Biden signed into law the State Offices of Rural Health Reauthorization Act of 2022. With the President’s signature, the bill became Public Law No: 117-356 and is now authorized by Congress through fiscal year 2027.
NOSORH thanks Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and Tina Smith (D-MN) for championing the Senate bill and getting it passed in the upper chamber on December 19 by unanimous consent. NOSORH also thanks Rep. Markwayne Mullin (now Senator Mullin) from Oklahoma and Rep. O’Halleran (D-AZ) for leading the effort in the House. The Senate bill advanced through the House just before Christmas on December 22 on the suspension calendar. House passage paved the way for the SORH reauthorization bill to be signed into law a little more than five years after then-President Trump signed the last SORH reauthorization bill into law.
The bill authorizes the SORH program at a baseline of $12,500,000 for fiscal years 2023-2027. NOSORH will seek to augment this amount through the annual congressional appropriations process.
NOSORH also thanks the five senate cosponsors of the SORH reauthorization bill including Sens: Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), John Hoeven (R-ND), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), and Tim Scott (R-SC), and our friends at the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) for advocating for this bill; it was a team effort.
118th Congress Underway:
The new Congress was sworn-in on January 3, 2023, kicking off the 118th Congress.
With Republicans taking the majority in the House, new members have been assigned to the committees with rural health care jurisdiction, including:
Energy and Commerce: Allen (GA), Balderson (OH), Cammack (FL), Fulcher (ID), Harshbarger (TN), Miller-Meeks (IA), Obernolte (CA), Pfluger (TX), and Weber (TX)
Ways and Means: Carey (OH), Feenstra (IA), Fischbach (MN), Fitzpatrick (PA), Mallioakis (NY), Moore (UT), Steel (CA), Steube (FL), Tenney (NY), and Van Duyne (TX)
Appropriations: Bice (OK), Carl (AL), Ciscomani (AZ), Cloud (TX), Clyde (GA), Ellzey (TX), Franklin (FL), Guest (MS), LaTurner (KS) and Zinke (MT).
Once the House and Senate Committee rosters are fully set, committee leaders will begin announcing their legislative agendas for the new Congress. Congressional hearings should begin following President Biden’s State of the Union Address on February 7. Also, in early February, expect the Administration’s FY 24 budget request to be submitted to Congress.