House votes shifts fight on government funding, Obamacare, to Senate

Sept. 20, 2013 at 1:14 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. House Friday approved a government funding bill that defunds the Affordable Care Act, setting up a showdown on the issue in the Senate.

The bill, which passed Friday in a 230-189 vote, funds federal government operations until mid-December but includes a provision that withdraws funding for the healthcare reform law commonly known as Obamacare.

"Now it's up to the Senate to listen to the families & small businesses who don't want #Obamacare," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, tweeted after the vote.

"Defund #Obamacare if you want to prevent millions of uninsured Americans from getting affordable health insurance. #EnoughAlready," the White House responded.

Most members of the House GOP conference participated in a rally after the vote intended as a show of unity, and demand Republicans in the Senate follow the House's lead in voting to fund government operations only if a spending bill eliminates money for implementing Obamacare, The Hill reported.

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla. -- one of several congressional Republicans who have described the push to shut down government over Obamacare as "a suicidal political tactic" -- told the liberal website Talking Points Memo Friday's vote gives Senate Republicans "the fight they asked for."

"Our senators have been asking us to get this, several of them, so we're going to see what they can do," he said. "They've got it now."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Thursday: "Any bill that defunds Obamacare is dead, dead. It's a waste of time."

Two Democrats joined Republicans in voting for the continuing resolution funding the government from Oct. 1 to Dec. 15.

"The [ACA] is a train wreck, and it's going to raise costs. It's destroying American jobs, and it must go," House Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, told The Hill before Friday's vote. "We'll deliver a big victory in the House ... then this fight will move over to the Senate, where it belongs."

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