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H.R. 4851 (111th): Continuing Extension Act of 2010

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Apr 15, 2010.

Continuing Extension Act of 2010 - (Sec. 2) Amends the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008 with respect to the state-established individual emergency unemployment compensation account (EUCA). Extends the final date for entering a federal-state agreement under the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program through June 2, 2010. Postpones the termination of the program until November 6, 2010.

Amends the Assistance for Unemployed Workers and Struggling Families Act to extend until June 2, 2010: (1) federal-state agreements increasing regular unemployment compensation payments to individuals; and (2) requirements that federal payments to states cover 100% of EUC.

Amends the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2008 to exempt weeks of unemployment between enactment of this Act and November 6, 2010, from the prohibition in the Federal-State Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1970 against federal matching payments to a state for the first week in an individual's eligibility period for which extended compensation or sharable regular compensation is paid if the state law provides for payment of regular compensation to an individual for his or her first week of otherwise compensable unemployment. (Thus allows temporary federal matching for the first week of extended benefits for states with no waiting period.)

(Sec. 3) Amends the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) to extend through May 31, 2010, premium assistance for COBRA benefits (health insurance continuation benefits under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985).

Prescribes a special rule for an individual who experiences a qualifying event related to a termination of employment on or after April 1, 2010, and before the enactment of this Act. Applies to all COBRA continuation coverage, including state continuation coverage programs, with respect to such individual rules similar to those in the ARRA: (1) extending the election period for, and the effect on, COBRA continuation coverage; and (2) requiring a notice of such action by the administrator of a group health plan.

(Sec. 4) Amends title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act (SSA) to extend through May 31, 2010, the 0% update to the conversion factor in the Medicare physician payment computation.

(Sec. 5) Amends SSA titles XVIII (Medicare) and XIX (Medicaid) with respect to the prohibition against incentive payments to hospital-based eligible professionals for use of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology. Redefines "hospital-based eligible professional" to repeal its application to outpatient settings, thereby permitting incentive payments to an eligible professional who furnishes services in an outpatient clinic.

(Sec. 6) Amends the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010 to extend the use of 2009 poverty guidelines through May 31, 2010. Prohibits the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) from publishing updated poverty guidelines for 2010 until after such date.

(Sec. 7) Amends the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2010 to extend through May 31, 2010, the national flood insurance program.

(Sec. 8) Requires federal employees furloughed as a result of the lapse in expenditure authority from the Highway Trust Fund after 11:59 p.m. on February 28, 2010, through March 2, 2010, to be compensated for such lapse at their standard rates of compensation.

Ratifies and approves all actions taken by federal employees, contractors, and grantees to maintain the essential level of government operations, services, and activities to protect life and property and to bring about orderly termination of government functions during such lapse, if otherwise in accord with the provisions of the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2010.

Requires funds used by the Secretary of Transportation (DOT) to compensate such employees to be: (1) derived from funds previously authorized out of the Highway Trust Fund and made available or limited to DOT by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010; and (2) subject to the obligation limitations established in such Act.

(Sec. 9) Extends through May 31, 2010, the adjustment of royalty fees for the secondary transmission of the primary analog transmissions of network stations and superstations. Extends through such date the moratorium on copyright liability for certain subscribers not receiving a signal of Grade A intensity of a local network television broadcast station and receiving signals of network stations affiliated with the same network, if such subscribers had satellite service of such network signal terminated between July 11, 1998, and October 31, 1999.

Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to extend through May 31, 2010, the exemption of a subscriber from the originating station consent requirement for retransmission of broadcasting station signals if the subscriber receives the retransmitted signals directly to a home satellite antenna, is located outside the station's local market, and resides in an unserved household.

Extends through June 1, 2010, the requirement that certain Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations prohibit: (1) a television broadcast station that provides retransmission consent from engaging in exclusive contracts for carriage or failing to negotiate in good faith; and (2) a multichannel video programming distributor from failing to negotiate in good faith for retransmission consent.

(Sec. 10) Amends the ARRA to extend through May 31, 2010, the small business loan guarantee program. Makes appropriations for the program as well as for the cost of certain loan guarantee fee reductions and eliminations.

(Sec. 11) Expresses the sense of the Senate that: (1) the Value Added Tax (VAT) is a massive tax increase that will cripple families on fixed income and only further push back America's economic recovery; and (2) it opposes a VAT.

(Sec. 12) Designates this Act, except Sec. 4, as an emergency requirement pursuant to the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010.