By Brandon Reid
Senior Assistant Editor
Republicans in the U.S. House celebrated Friday, Sept. 20, as a resolution to defund the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) and fund the U.S. government passed 230-189. However, the celebration may be premature, as language to defund the Affordable Care Act is likely to be removed from the resolution in the Democratically-controlled Senate.
The resolution, as passed by the House, would eliminate all funding for President Barack Obama’s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act — a series of health care reforms passed in 2010 — and help the government avoid a shutdown. The resolution would allocate $986 billion to keep the government afloat through Dec. 15.
However, the resolution is likely to be rejected in the Democratically-controlled Senate, where 67 votes are required to override a presidential veto.
Obama has said he would veto any spending plan that would defund the Affordable Care Act, and the Senate is composed of 52 Democrats, 46 Republicans and two Independents.
The U.S. Senate is likely to strip language pertaining to the Affordable Care Act from the bill next week and send the resolution back to the House. Such an action is seen by many as a dare on the part of Senate Democrats to force House Republicans to vote against a funding bill just days before the law currently funding the government expires.
U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., noted Sept. 19 that attempts by the U.S. House to defund the Affordable Care Act would likely be in vain.
“In the United States Senate, we will not repeal or defund Obamacare,” McCain said on The Lead with Jake Tapper. “We will not. And to think we can is not rational.
“To somehow think we are going to defund it is simply not going to happen at this time, and it will, in my opinion, as it did before, harm the American people’s view of the Republican Party,” McCain added.
Echoing comments made by McCain, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Sept. 19 that any bill that would defund the Affordable Care Act would be “dead” when it reached the Senate.
The House spending bill was passed largely on a party-line vote, with 228 Republicans and two Democrats in favor and 188 Democrats and one Republican opposed.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, described the passage of the spending plan as a “victory” for the American people. He also called the Affordable Care Act a “train wreck” that is “hurting our constituents.”
“The American people don’t want the government to shut down and they don’t want Obamacare,” Boehner said. “The House has listened to the American people. Now, it’s time for the United States Senate to listen to them as well.”
Meanwhile, in a floor speech prior to the House vote, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., condemned the resolution.
“This place is a mess,” Pelosi said. “Let’s get our house in order. We are legislators. We have come here to do a job for the American people.
“What is brought to the floor today is without a doubt a measure designed to shut down government,” she added. “Its purpose is clear, and if our colleagues on the Republican side deny that then they have no idea of the gravity of the situation.”
Following is a breakdown of how representatives from Illinois voted on the measure in the House:
For — Rodney Davis (R), Randy Hultgren (R), Adam Kinzinger (R), Peter Roskam (R), Aaron Schock (R) and John Shimkus (R).
Against — Cheri Bustos (D), Danny Davis (D), Tammy Duckworth (D), William Enyart (D), Bill Foster (D), Dan Lipinski (D), Michael Quigley (D), Jan Schakowsky (D) and Brad Schneider (D).
Not voting — Luis Gutiérrez (D) and Bobby Rush (D).
Posted Sept. 20, 2013