Washington Watch: Obamacare, Medicare and equal pay

Expect an explosion of hearings on an array of issues, from Russia to GM. Among them, House Republicans will focus on “Examining Obamacare’s Problem-Filled State Exchanges,” and Senate Democrats will investigate why equal pay legislation known as “The Paycheck Fairness Act” has stalled.

Washington Watch bugMonday’s deadline for many Americans, including Connecticut residents, to enroll in Obamacare without a penalty will fuel bickering in Washington about the ACA and likely prompt new enrollment figures from the White House.

The Senate is set to take action Monday on the House-passed, one-year measure to prevent a massive cut to doctors’ Medicare payments. Doctors face a 24 percent cut in their Medicare payments after Monday if Congress doesn’t act. But some lawmakers, including Connecticut Rep. John Larson, D-1st District, don’t like the legislation because it wouldn’t fix the problem permanently.

Monday: The Senate Finance Committee may unveil legislation to renew many of the 55 tax breaks for businesses and individuals that expired at the end of 2013. They included a tax break for research and development that helped many Connecticut companies as well as write-offs for NASCAR racetracks and federal rum rebates.

Tuesday: The Senate Health Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing on the Paycheck Fairness Act, an issue Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, champions in the House.

Thursday: Behind closed doors, members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will receive a special briefing on Russia by administration officials. Sen. Chris Murphy is a member of the panel.

Friday: The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the monthly jobs report for March.

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