House OKs Bill to Defund Health Reform

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The GOP-led House approved a spending bill that would strip President Obama’s healthcare law of its funding, setting up a confrontation with the Democratically controlled Senate that risks causing the first shutdown of the government in nearly two decades.

filephoto John Boehner Speaker

File photo of Speaker of the House John Boehner

The 230-189 vote was at least a temporary victory for the chamber’s most conservative lawmakers, who had pressured the Republican leadership to back the “defund Obamacare” drive.

Advocates, including tea party-aligned advocacy groups, insisted that the looming deadline to approve a new government funding bill was the best leverage over Democrats since Republicans took over in 2011. The current authorization for federal spending runs out on Sept. 30, the end of the federal fiscal year. The bill approved by the House and sent to the Senate keeps the government open until Dec. 15.

During the debate on the House floor, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) said that even Obama acknowledged his health law was flawed when his administration delayed for a year the requirement that businesses provide basic health insurance for their employees.

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