Carrie Budoff Brown - House Republicans will vote next week to repeal the new health care law, making good on a top-tier GOP campaign promise and setting up a showdown with President Barack Obama over his signature domestic policy achievement.
Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor announced the timeline for considering the repeal legislation Monday: the bill will post on the Rules Committee website Monday night, 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.
"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."
In a sign of their strategy, the Senate Democratic leadership sent a letter to House Speaker-elect John Boehner (R-Ohio) detailing the benefits that would be lost if Republicans succeeded in repealing the law, such as closing the "doughnut hole" in the Medicare prescription drug benefit.
“This is no minor reform. But almost as soon as it has taken effect, it is already in jeopardy,” the letter stated.
“If House Republicans move forward with a repeal of the health care law that threatens consumer benefits like the ‘doughnut hole’ fix, we will block it in the Senate,” the letter continued. “This proposal deserves a chance to work. It is too important to be treated as collateral damage in a partisan mission to repeal health care.”