WASHINGTON, D.C. — The GOP-controlled House voted Friday to cripple President Barack Obama’s health care law as part of a risky ploy that threatens a partial shutdown of the government in a week and a half.
The fight is coming on a stopgap funding measure required to keep the government fully running after the Oct. 1 start of the new budget year. Typically, such measures advance with sweeping bipartisan support, but tea party activists forced GOP leaders — against their better judgment — to add a provision to cripple the health care law that is the signature accomplishment of Obama’s first term.
Republicans welcomed the vote, saying the new health care law is a disaster that is forcing cutbacks in workers’ hours, raising health insurance premiums and being implemented unfairly. House Republicans have voted more than 40 times to disable all or part of the health care law.
“There’s no reason the American people should have to face this train wreck,” said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga.
The partisan 230-189 vote sets the stage for a confrontation with the Democratic-led Senate, which promises to strip the health care provision from the bill next week and challenge the House to pass it as a simple, straightforward funding bill that President Barack Obama will sign.
At a post-vote rally by House Republicans, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, called the measure’s approval “a victory today for the American people” and turned the spotlight to the Democratic Senate.
“Our message to the United State Senate is real simple: The American people don’t want the government shut down, and they don’t want Obamacare,” he said to cheers from his GOP colleagues.
“The House has listened to the American people. Now it’s time for the United States Senate to listen to them as well.”