GOP OKs budget plan to overturn Obamacare
WASHINGTON >> The House gave final approval Friday for speedy action to repeal the Affordable Care Act, putting Congress on track to undo the most significant health care law in a half-century.
By a vote of 227-198, the House approved a budget blueprint that allows Republicans to obliterate major provisions of President Barack Obama’s health care law without the threat of a Democratic filibuster in the Senate.
The vote, coming a week before President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, places Republicans in position to accomplish their goal of dismantling Obama’s signature domestic achievement.
But the quick action by Congress adds urgency to the question of what comes next. Republicans are far from a consensus on how to go about replacing the health care law, under which more than 20 million Americans have gained health insurance.
Republicans have pledged to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Now they say they are intent on keeping their promise to Americans who have been crushed by soaring premiums and other unintended effects of the law, which was adopted without any Republican votes.
Democrats warned repeal of Obamacare would cause hardship for millions of Americans and create chaos in insurance markets and the health care system.
The House vote generally adhered to party lines. The Senate had approved the budget blueprint early Thursday by a vote of 51-48.
Before the House vote, some conservative Republicans as well as moderates expressed discomfort about signing off on the budget measure without having a clearer picture of how Republican leaders planned to go about replacing the health care law. Nine House Republicans voted against the budget blueprint Friday. No Democrats voted for it. civilian control of the military.
Mattis retired from the Marines in 2013 after serving more than four decades.
The bill, which passed the Senate 81-17 on Thursday, next goes to the White House for President Barack Obama’s signature.
“I think you can anticipate if it makes it to the president’s desk, he will sign it,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday.
The House vote saw a wave of Democratic opposition after Trump’s transition team did not allow Mattis to testify before the House Armed Services Committee about civilian control of the military. Mattis, who is widely respected in the military and on Capitol Hill, had told the House committee he planned to appear, but ultimately pulled out.
With the waiver now approved, Mattis appears on track to win easy confirmation in the Senate next week. He sailed through his confirmation hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.
Though 18 of the 25 men who have run the Pentagon since 1947 had previously served in the military, Mattis is only the second to require a waiver.