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“We need to slap a discharge petition on that cromnibus.” Clear as mud? That’s precisely why we’ve created a glossary of common terms and phrases used on the Hill and around DC.

Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D is a voluntary benefit that provides outpatient prescription drug coverage to beneficiaries. The Part D benefit is operated through private plans; beneficiaries have the option of choosing either prescription drug coverage as part of their Medicare Advantage plan or as a stand-alone prescription drug plan which can be purchased in addition to traditional Medicare.... Read More

Motion to Proceed to Consider

A procedural vote taken by the whole Senate on the matter of whether or not to open debate on a bill. This occurs if the entire Senate does not agree to proceed by “unanimous consent.”... Read More


A funding source used to pay for new government spending, usually comprised of reductions to, or elimination of, other government programs. When Congress passes legislation that costs the government money—with the exception of the annual appropriations bills—they look to find “offsets,” or savings from other government programs to “pay for” the new legislation.... Read More

Overseas Contingency Operations

OCO funding is money set aside in the federal budget for expenses connected to overseas operations such as: crisis response, infrastructure and coalition support for operations in Iraq/Afghanistan, humanitarian assistance in the Middle East and North Africa, and embassy security among other needs abroad.... Read More

Pro Forma Session

A pro forma session is a short period of time when either the House or Senate is technically in legislative session but when no votes are held and no formal business is typically conducted. It is a Latin term meaning “in form only.”... Read More


A recess is a brief break in a legislative session. Recess does not indicate that business is complete; participants simply have a predetermined amount of time off before restarting the session. Congress takes several recesses throughout the session, primarily around federal holidays, but the August break is the only one that is legally required.... Read More

Risk Corridors

Risk corridors are a component of the ACA that limit the risk borne by qualified health plans on the insurance marketplaces. Risk Corridors are a mechanism to minimize the year-end losses of insurers who covered a disproportionate share of sicker, often older, insured customers.... Read More


The Sustainable Growth Rate is a formula that is supposed to be utilized to determine Medicare Part B payment rates for physicians and other health professionals. In 1997, Congress created the SGR formula in order to help limit spending on Medicare physicians’ services.... Read More