A House committee said it will delay sending a bill to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program to the full House to give bipartisan talks on funding more time.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee will delay sending the bill it marked up last week to the House floor, Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., said Tuesday. The delay comes as talks with Democrats heat up on new funding offsets after those in the bill came under criticism from Democrats.
Walden said the panel would need to act quickly. Some states expect to run out of CHIP funding, which pays for health insurance for low-income children through block grants, by late November while others can last until early 2018. The program expired Sept. 30.
He said that with multiple "state CHIP and public health programs on countdown clocks if the minority wants to reach a bipartisan agreement, time is of the essence."
If the House panel isn't able to reach a deal by the end of the week, "I would expect the House to take up the committee marked bill immediately following the district work period," Walden said.
The House leaves town Friday and is not scheduled to return until Oct. 23.
Republicans and Democrats feuded last week over the bill that would renew the program for five years. Republicans inserted offsets that included taking money from an Obamacare prevention fund and charging seniors who make more than $500,000 a year higher Medicare premiums.
Lawmakers also clashed on how much money to give to Puerto Rico, which was ravaged by Hurricane Maria last month. The bill included $1 billion over two years in Medicaid funding to help resolve a funding cliff facing the island territory.
Democrats want more money and the federal government to pick up more of the tab. Democrats want the government to match 100 percent of Puerto Rico's Medicaid spending instead of the current 55 percent.
While talks resume in the House, leaders of the Senate Finance Committee are working on their own funding. The Senate panel passed a CHIP reauthorization bill with only one Republican dissenting, but that package didn't include funding mechanisms.