With only two Democrats voting for it and one Republican voting against it, the U.S. House passed a short-term spending plan to keep the government doors open until mid-December. But, missing from the plan is funding for President Obama's Healthcare law.
The stop-gap spending bill passed largely along party lines with a vote of 230-189. On the Democratic side of the aisle, Representative Jim Matheson of Utah and Representative Mike McIntyre of North Carolina voted for the bill and on the other side of the aisle, Representative Scott Rigell of North Carolina voted against passage.
Although now out of the House, it now goes to the U.S. Senate where it is sure to be shot down in flames. When the Senate takes up the spending bill next week, the healthcare provisions will be stripped from the bill and the bill sent back to the House.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia said while speaking in the Rayburn Room off of the House floor as he turned the event into a political rally, “We’re into this fight and we want the Senate to join us.” Cantor named off four Democrat Senators up for election this coming cycle in 2014, Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, and our Alaska Senator, Mark Begich while citing problems with healthcare in each Senator’s state.
Amid applause, Speaker of the House Republican John Boehner called the passage a victory for the American people, saying after the vote in the Rayburn Room, “The House has listened to the American people. Now it’s time for the United States Senate to listen to them as well.”
First-term Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell of California called the Republican push for de-funding of Obama’s Healthcare law a “wet dream” on Friday. In the debate leading up to the vote, Swalwell said, “I rise in strong opposition to this radical right-wing effort to walk our economy off of a cliff and cause a government shutdown.” Swalwell continued, saying, “I invite my colleagues on the other side to wake up from this radical, ideological wet dream, and come back to reality.”
Republican lawmakers have attempted to repeal Obama’s Healthcare law over forty times since it was established.
Without a stop-gap bill in place, the U.S. government is at risk of closing down as of October 1st. Some Republicans have warned that coupling the defunding of Healthcare to the spending plan and possibly shutting down government will give ammo to the Democrats that may lead to a Democrat majority in the House next year.
Republicans say that is not their intention, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of california says, “What is brought to the floor today is without a doubt … a measure designed to shut down government, it could have no other intent. Its purpose is clear. She continued, saying, “It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
Meanwhile President Obama is on a week-long series of appearances talking about the economy. His first appearance was at a Ford truck plant in Kansas City today. At that appearance, the president highlighted the progress made since the 2008 financial meltdown, as well as lauded his Healthcare bill, announcing family healthcare coverage that costs less than a cell phone bill that kicks in within the next two weeks. Of the vote today, Obama said that the House Republicans are holding America hostage in an attempt to defund his Healthcare program. He said to listeners at the Ford plant, “You don’t have to threaten to blow the whole thing up just because you don’t get your way.”
Alaska’s sole Representative to the House, Don Young said in a release today after the vote, “One of the most fundamental jobs Congress has is to pass legislation to fund the government, and today the Republican – led House did just that; passing a fiscally responsible CR that keeps the government running. Having been around during the last government shut down in the 90’s, I saw firsthand the detrimental effects it can have on the country, and we cannot afford to go down that road again,” Rep. Young said. “Today the House also voted to defund Obamacare, one of the worst pieces of legislation passed out of Congress during my 40 years in Washington. Since the law’s passage in 2009, the Administration has issued nearly 20,000 pages of regulations associated with Obamacare that will crush Alaskan households under a mountain of red tape. In Alaska, health insurance premiums for people purchasing health insurance on the individual market are expected to increase by 30% to 80%, an increase Alaskans simply cannot afford.
“It is now time for the Senate to put up or shut up, and show the American people where they stand on the President’s tragically flawed government takeover of health care.”