Barrasso, Lummis Fight to Protect Rural Nursing Homes from Federal Overreach

June 5, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis, both R-Wyo., joined Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) and their colleagues in introducing a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval to overturn the Biden administration’s final rule affecting rural nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

The final rule imposes burdensome federal staffing mandates on long-term care facilities. The most harmful is requiring facilities to have a registered nurse present 24/7, which is a drastic increase compared to the current requirement of 8 hours a day. This rule, submitted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), comes when our healthcare industry is already facing significant staffing shortages.

Experts estimate that only one in five nursing homes meets the new staffing requirement. Due to these shortages, nursing homes across rural America will struggle to remain open, and many will be forced to close their doors, leaving entire communities without access to these essential senior services.

“The Biden administration is once again trying to force their one-size-fits-all policies across the country. This Washington overreach does not account for the needs of nursing homes and long-term care facilities in rural states like Wyoming,” said Senator Barrasso. “Burdensome mandates from Washington only undermine access to care for patients in rural areas. Republicans will not let the Biden administration close down facilities that offer critical care to our seniors in communities across Wyoming.”

“Seniors in Wyoming should not have to fear losing access to vital health care, but this administration’s one-size-fits-all regulations threaten to make that a sobering reality,” said Senator Lummis. “These arbitrary mandates will only worsen staffing shortages and force nursing home closures throughout rural states like Wyoming and demonstrates just how out of touch the Biden administration is with the needs of rural America. My colleagues and I are leading the fight to protect seniors’ access to health care in rural communities and stand against this administration’s misguided mandates.”

Senators joining the resolution of disapproval include U.S. Senators Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Joe Manchin (I-W.Va.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska).

Full text of the resolution can be found here.