What does it mean when top Republicans — like Rep. Tom Cole — say they're open to giving insurers the Obamacare cost-sharing reduction payments they need, but they don't want to reopen negotiations on the next federal funding bill to do it? It means they want to handle the money differently.
Caitlin Owens reports that GOP appropriators want it to be classified as "mandatory funding" — the term that's usually used for entitlement spending, the kind that just happens on its own and Congress doesn't have to budget for it every year. That's Washington-speak for, "We don't want it to come out of the pots of money we've already negotiated." It also means someone else has to make the decision to add the money — like GOP leaders.
Tick-tock, people: If they want to do it, they'd better do it soon, before the federal government runs out of money on April 28.