House passes bill to defund Obamacare, sends it to Senate

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The U.S. House voted 230-189 Friday morning to pass a bill that would provide funding to keep the federal government operating until Dec. 15 but would defund the Affordable Care Act.

The vote was largely along party lines, with all Republicans (except Scott Rigell of Virginia) voting for it and Democrats (save for Mike McIntyre of North Carolina and Jim Matheson of Utah) voting against it.

The bill’s adoption was most likely a symbolic act for House Republicans who want to shut down Obamacare before one of its key provisions, the operation of state health insurance exchanges, begins Oct. 1.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the bill is “dead” once it gets to the Democratic-controlled Senate and President Barack Obama has vowed he will veto any bill that defunds or delays the health insurance program.

Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ranger) was one of the sponsors of the continuing resolution that attempts to stop Obamacare, and he was joined by Georgia’s eight other Republican House members in voting for the measure.

“House Republicans are united in our commitment to keeping the government open and protecting our constituents from the harmful effects of Obamacare,” Graves said in a statement issued after the vote.

“Now, senators must prepare for the most important vote of their careers,” Graves said. “Senate Democrats now have to choose whether to fight for their constituents or follow Harry Reid.”

Democratic Rep. John Barrow of Augusta, who voted against final passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, voted with his Democratic colleagues in opposing the Graves bill.

Reaction from other Georgia House members:

“It is fundamentally unfair for the Obama Administration to continue to overextend its executive power to pick and choose who must suffer under Obamacare,” Rep. Tom Price (R-Roswell) said. “If the president’s health care law isn’t right for this administration’s allies, if the president has felt compelled to provide relief for big business, then there’s no reason the American people should have to face this train wreck.”

“We must stop this train wreck before it causes any additional harm to our economy,” said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Savannah). “Since Obamacare passed into law, insurance costs have skyrocketed and employers have slashed employees’ hours, seemingly creating a part-time economy.”

“Obamacare is such a burden on the American people that today’s vote should have been unanimous,” Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) said. “Now, the Senate must act. Now, every United States Senator who listens to his or her constituents should stand up to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and pass this CR.”

“If Obamacare goes into effect on October 1st, it will be a financial disaster for both our economy and the liveliehoods of every tax-paying American citizen,” said Rep. Paul Broun (R-Athens).

“Now I know there are some in the Senate who are threatening to strip out the defunding language, but I strongly urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the Senate to listen to the American people as the House did and to pass this continuing resolution without any amendments,” Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Sharpsburg) said.

“While we all share the goal of preventing the tremendous damage that Obamacare is doing to American families, the American economy, and the American practice of medicine, the path to achieve that goal can take many forms,” Rep. Rob Woodall said.

“Throughout August, the American people made their voice heard that the time to act is now, and the bill to act on is the Continuing Resolution,” Woodall said. “That vote happened today.”

© 2013 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: defunding , Obamacare , Tom Graves , U.S. House