By Felix Morgan
Since it’s passage in Congress, many Republicans have been fighting tooth and nail to stop Obamacare any way they can. They’ve tried a full repeal, taking the legislation apart piece by piece, and the current plan calls for defunding the program.
However, the prospect of defunding Obamacare doesn’t seem too likely as the Democratic-controlled Senate will inevitably shoot it down. And even if it did make it through Congress, President Obama would be sure to extend his veto power right over Republican efforts.
To make matters worse, there have even been struggles in the Republican-controlled House to keep the bill alive as some feared a government shutdown. Fortunately, for opponents of Obamacare the House passed a bill Sept. 20 that would fund the government until mid-December with the stipulation that the health care law not be included in that funding.
Upon the announcement that decision would come to a vote in the House U.S. Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) praised House Republicans for proposing a spending bill that funds the federal government, prevents a government shut down, and permanently defunds Obamacare.
“Today’s announcement by Speaker Boehner is a victory for the American people,” said Lee when the news broke. “For months, Americans have been telling Washington to fund the operations of government but also protect them from the harmful effects and unfair implementation of Obamacare. The spending proposal the Speaker put forth today shows that if the American people are united, Washington does listen. We encourage the House to approve this legislation quickly and I applaud Speaker Boehner for his leadership on this proposal. Then it will be up to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to pass this measure to fund government and defund Obamacare.”
Cruz, who in many ways has been leading the Senate fight against Obamacare, was also pleased with the prospect of defunding the health care act.
“Today’s announcement that the House will vote to defund Obamacare is terrific news,” Cruz added. “Just a few weeks ago, this was deemed impossible. We commend House leadership and House Republicans for listening to the people and for taking decisive action to stop Obamacare, the biggest job-killer in America. Harry Reid will no doubt try to strip the defund language from the continuing resolution, and right now he likely has the votes to do so. At that point, House Republicans must stand firm, hold their ground, and continue to listen to the American people. President Obama has already granted Obamacare exemptions to big corporations and Members of Congress; he should not threaten to shut down the government just to deny those same exemptions to hard-working American families.”
Like Cruz, Rubio remains firm in the efforts to defund Obamacare.
“The American people have made clear they want Washington to keep the government open but also need protection from Obamacare’s harmful effects,” Rubio said. “Today’s announcement would accomplish what the American people have been asking of Congress. A solution is within sight in order to avert another crisis of Washington’s creation. President Obama and his allies in Congress should abandon their threats of shutting down the government and instead work with Republicans to pass this proposal that would keep government open while preventing taxpayer dollars from being used to inflict Obamacare’s damage on people’s jobs, incomes, current health plans and doctor relationships.”
The vote passed the House 230 to 189.
Whether or not the plan to defund Obamacare ever moves ahead in the Senate will be a highly contested issue in the coming weeks.