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Government Shutdown Averted; Medicaid Expansion Out; GA Passes Austere Budget

The Senate Finance Committee has advanced a new state budget without Medicaid expansion, a major step towards ending a months-long stalemate. Averting a possible government shutdown with less than three weeks to spare, the General Assembly passed an austere, two-year budget late last night after hours of behind-the-scenes wrangling over Medicaid expansion.

Cantor Defeat Emboldened Tea Party Against Medicaid

Supporters of Medicaid expansion on both sides of the aisle say Eric Cantor’s defeat this week emboldened Tea Party conservatives in the General Assembly in their opposition to using federal dollars to expand health care services for the poor. At the insistence of a group conservative Republican members, the legislature inserted an amendment into the budget prohibiting Governor McAuliffe from taking executive action on Medicaid without the approval of the legislature. Governor McAuliffe says he will carefully be evaluating the budget and will take actions he deems necessary.

Assembly Passes Budget Without Medicaid Expansion

The General Assembly has ended its three-month standoff and passed a two-year budget without Medicaid expansion. At the insistence of a group conservative Republican members, the legislature inserted an amendment into the budget prohibiting Governor McAuliffe from taking executive action on Medicaid without the approval of the legislature. Governor McAuliffe says he will  be evaluating  the budget carefully and will take actions he deems necessary. Though population and the need for state services has grown, state spending will remain essentially flat.

Cantor Will Resign as Majority Leader July 31st

Congressman Eric Cantor says he will resign as U.S. Majority Leader by July 31st in order to avoid a messy fight to name his successor. Though he will no longer be Majority Leader, Cantor will remain in Congress until his term expires in January.

Cantor called on the GOP to put their differences aside and help elect a Republican House and Senate. Cantor says should Majority Whip and fellow Young Guns author Kevin McCarthy choose to run for Majority Leader that he will support him.

House and Senate Negotiators Reach Budget Deal

House and Senate budget negotiators have reached an agreement on the state’s two year spending plan and the General Assembly returns to Capitol Square today to consider it’s passage.

The plan reduces the new spending introduced in Governor McDonnell’s outgoing budget in December, by over 800 million dollars. The rest of the state’s projected 1.55 billion shortfall will be offset by the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

Beyer is Back In the 8th; Wittman Wins Primary in 1st.

There is a familiar name winning the Democratic Virginia’s 8th District, and Republicans voted to return a veteran congressman in the 1st. Former Virginia Lt. Governor Don Beyer won a seven-way Democratic Congressional primary yesterday, virtually assuring he will replace longtime Congressman Jim Moran in the heavily Democratic 8th Congressional District. With 46% of the vote, Beyer had far more than his closest challenger, State Delegate Patrick Hope, who had 18 percent.

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