Today, U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) joined U.S. Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) in introducing a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to keep nursing homes open.

Their resolution of disapproval would overturn a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rule mandating unrealistic staffing standards for long-term care facilities. If the rule is not stopped, it could force thousands of nursing homes to shut their doors.

Senator Fischer has fought against this rule since it was proposed in September 2023. That month, Senator Fischer and the Nebraska congressional delegation sent a letter to the CMS administrator opposing the rule. In December, Senator Fischer introduced theProtecting Rural Seniors’ Access to Care Act to stop the CMS rule from being finalized.

“This mandate will force nursing homes to turn away patients or shut down for good if they don’t hire more registered nurses. But hiring more nurses simply isn’t possible in many areas of the country, including Nebraska’s rural communities. Our bill would reverse this rule and protect seniors’ access to care,” said Senator Fischer.

“Oklahomans shouldn’t lose access to health care because of overly broad and unrealistic rules from Washington, D.C. The Biden administration’s staffing requirements won’t fix workforce shortage problems or solve care quality problems, but they will make it even harder for seniors in rural areas to get care in their own communities. Our seniors deserve high-quality care. Instead of expecting a vague blanket policy to solve nuanced problems, CMS should work with Congress to ensure quality care while also ensuring patients are not displaced due to arbitrary mandates. I am leading the fight to prevent one-size-fits-all requirements from forcing rural nursing homes in Oklahoma to close,” said Senator Lankford.

“LeadingAge and our nonprofit and mission-driven members — many of whom have served their communities for decades and even centuries — share the goal of ensuring quality care. Mandates, as we’ve said repeatedly to Congress, to the administration, and to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), are not the right approach to achieving it. We need real policy solutions and investments, not mandates. As part of our aggressive, multi-faceted approach, drawing on every available tool — legislative, legal, and regulatory — to both address the fundamental issue of building the long-term care workforce and halt the regulation’s implementation, we support the CRA resolution’s introduction in the Senate. We thank Senators Lankford and Manchin for their leadership on it,” said President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan of LeadingAge, an association of nonprofit aging services providers.

Senators Fischer and Lankford introduced today’s resolution with a bipartisan group of 29 colleagues: U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (I-W.Va.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), 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 Barrasso (R-Wyo.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and John Hoeven (R-N.D.).


On September 1, 2023, CMS proposed a rule mandating new minimum staffing standards for long-term care (LTC) facilities. According to CMS, 75 percent of nursing homes will have to increase staffing to comply with these standards. The standards will be even harder to meet in the rural areas of states like Nebraska, which already face historic staffing shortages.

In September, Senator Fischer and the Nebraska congressional delegation sent a letter to CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure opposing the staffing rule.

In December, Senator Fischer introduced the Protecting Rural Seniors’ Access to Care Act to stop the rule from being finalized.

Despite bipartisan opposition, the CMS staffing rule was finalized last month. It will go into effect this summer if it is not overturned.

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