Eye on Washington

December 1, 2005

Health spending for 2006 uncertain, cesarean rate is up nationally, Hepatitis A vaccination now for all children.

Congress is out of town and won't return until later this month. Members left much unfinished business behind them: different budget-cutting measures passed by the House and Senate remain unreconciled; voting on extending the tax cuts favored by the administration has been deferred; and hearings on the qualifications of Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr., to fill a seat on the Supreme Court are yet to begin.

Before they departed, members of the House had a knockdown, drag-out floor fight over a proposal by Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) to withdraw American troops from Iraq-either at the "earliest practicable date," in Representative Murtha's original resolution, or immediately, as the Republican-sponsored rewrite of the resolution put it. The rewritten resolution was, as Republican leadership intended, soundly defeated, but debate over the war continues.

Ms. Asch-Goodkin is a contributing editor for Contemporary Pediatrics. She has nothing to disclose in regard to affiliations with, or financial interests in, any organization that may have an interest in any part of this article.