Legislative Measure to Overturn Nursing Home Staffing Rule May Have Enough Votes and Bipartisan Support to Pass

The joint resolutions introduced under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn the minimum staffing rule have enough votes in both the Senate and the House, and could pass.

This is according to at least two news outlets, including The Hill and Axios.

“The Senate measure, led by Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.), James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Joe Manchin (I-W.Va.), has a significant chance of passing the Democratically controlled Senate,” The Hill article states.


The measure needs only a simple majority of votes to pass, and if Tester, Manchin and all the chamber’s Republicans vote for the resolution, it will likely do so.

“At a time when nursing homes across Montana are struggling with workforce shortage issues, it makes no sense for unelected bureaucrats in the Biden Administration to hand down a one-size-fits-all policy that would force these critical facilities to shutter their doors. That’s why I’m teaming up with Republicans to shut this rule down,” Tester said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Manchin, who along with Tester wrote a letter last fall to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to cancel the staffing rule, called the rule “overly demanding and unrealistic.”


Linda Couch, SVP of Policy and Advocacy at LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, including nursing homes, told Skilled Nursing News that the CRA resolution was gaining traction with lawmakers.

“It is fair to say that support for the Congressional Review Act is growing,” Couch said in an emailed statement. “Certainly, that we are seeing support for the CRA from both sides of the aisle indicates a common sense understanding that mandates are wrong headed, not a viable solution to achieve the goal shared by our nonprofit and mission-driven members as well as the Biden Administration of ensuring quality nursing home care.”

Couch did not know the timing for when the lawmakers could force a vote on the resolutions in the House or Senate.

Even if the CRA resolutions pass in both chambers, President Joe Biden is widely expected to veto it.

“If the CRAs pass the House and Senate and Biden vetoes it, the measure could survive a veto with two-thirds House and Senate members voting to override the veto,” Couch said. “While we don’t know the lifespan or future of the resolutions of disapproval, we do know that House and Senate offices are hearing from providers to support the resolutions because the staffing rule will decrease access to needed skilled care.”

Meanwhile, Clif Porter, SVP of Government Relations for the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) praised the legislative efforts underway to defeat the mandate.

“Whether through legislation or direct outreach to the Administration, the concern that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have shown demonstrates that this outrageous and unrealistic rule must be overturned. This impossible mandate threatens access to care for seniors across the country, and we urge members of Congress to take action. Let’s work together on more meaningful ways to boost our nursing home workforce and improve quality care,” Porter told Skilled Nursing News in an emailed statement.

New Hampshire Democrats Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) and Angus King (I-Maine) – lawmakers who co-signed the first letter in support of retracting the staffing rule – haven’t spoken in support of the CRA resolution.

That said, an Axios article also states that the measure is likely to pass.

“(Tester and Manchin) and all of the chamber’s Republicans could deliver the simple majority of votes required for passage,” Axios states.

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