House Republicans announced that they’ll vote next week to repeal the new health care law, gearing up for a showdown with President Barack Obama over his signature domestic policy achievement.
Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced Monday the timeline for considering the repeal legislation: The bill posted Monday, the Rules Committee will meet Thursday, and the rule for the debate will be considered on the House floor Friday. The repeal vote will follow on Wednesday, Jan 12.
The GOP repeal bill is only two pages long – a stark contrast to the 2,000-plus pages in the final health care legislation, a number that was cited repeatedly by Republicans as evidence the bill amounted to a massive government overreach.
Aiming to link the rollback effort to job creation, Republicans named the bill “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.”
The Republican legislation states that it would restore statutes to what they were before the health care law passed. It would also repeal the health care provisions in a companion piece of legislation, known as the reconciliation act, that fixed elements of the main health care law. The repeal bill would leave intact an overhaul of the student loan industry that was passed as part of the reconciliation measure.
The House will vote on a separate resolution that would, in effect, take steps toward creating an alternative Republican health care plan. The resolution would call on four key committees to create health care legislation that addresses 12 different goals, to “lower health care premiums through increased competition and choice,” “increase the number of insured Americans,” “protect the doctor-patient relationship,” and “prohibit taxpayer funding of abortions and provide conscience protections of health care providers,” for example.
The resolution appears aimed at blunting Democratic criticism that Republicans aren’t serious about enacting solutions to expand health care coverage to millions of uninsured Americans.
"Obamacare is a job killer for businesses small and large, and the top priority for House Republicans is going to be to cut spending and grow the economy and jobs,” Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring said in a statement. “Further, Obamacare failed to lower costs as the president promised that it would and does not allow people to keep the care they currently have if they like it. That is why the House will repeal it next week.”
The repeal effort is not expected to succeed, given that Democrats maintain control of the Senate and the president can veto the legislation. But Republicans could embarrass the White House if they persuade a number of Democrats to vote with them and, over the long term, plan to try to chip away at pieces of the law.
"We have 242 Republicans," said Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), incoming chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, on “Fox News Sunday.” "There will be a significant number of Democrats, I think, that will join us. You will remember when that vote passed in the House last March, it only passed by seven votes."
Only 13 of the 34 Democrats who opposed the bill in March won reelection, narrowing the pool from which Republicans can pick up crossover votes.