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House Adds Yearlong Obamacare Delay, Repeal of Medical Device Tax to CR

Lower chamber sends the budget resolution back to Senate along with bill to guarantee that military will get paid during shutdown.

Bridget Johnson


September 28, 2013 - 9:37 pm

WASHINGTON — The House answered the Senate’s stripped-down version of their continuing resolution with amendments that delayed the implementation of Obamacare for a year and permanently repealed the medical device tax.

The revamped bill also included language targeting the contraceptive coverage mandate, allowing companies to opt out of the controversial coverage for moral or religious reasons. Republicans also shifted the Nov. 15 expiration set by Senate Democrats in the CR back to Dec. 15.

The White House issued a veto threat before the nighttime debate even began on the House floor.

“The Senate acted in a responsible manner on a short-term funding measure to maintain Government functions and avoid a damaging Government shutdown. Rather than taking up that legislation, the House proposes amendments that advance a narrow ideological agenda and threaten the Nation’s economy. By including extraneous measures that have no place in a government funding bill and that the President and Senate already made clear are unacceptable, House Republicans are pushing the Government toward shutdown,” the Office of Management and Budget said in a statement.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said “Congress has two jobs to do: pass budgets and pay the bills it has racked up.”

“Republicans in Congress had the opportunity to pass a routine, simple continuing resolution that keeps the government running for a few more weeks. But instead, Republicans decided they would rather make an ideological point by demanding the sabotage of the health care law,” Carney continued. ”Republicans have tried and failed to defund or delay the health care law more than 40 times, and they know this demand is reckless and irresponsible. The President has shown that he is willing to improve the health care law and meet Republicans more than halfway to deal with our fiscal challenges, but he will not do so under threats of a government shutdown that will hurt our economy.”

President Obama went golfing for four hours at Fort Belvoir today.

“The American people don’t want a government shutdown and they don’t want ObamaCare,” House GOP leaders said in a joint statement before the vote. “We will do our job and send this bill over, and then it’s up to the Senate to pass it and stop a government shutdown.”

Offering the medical device tax repeal put some Democrats in a tough spot as many are on the record as supporting the idea.

A bill introduced in February by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to repeal the excise tax on medical device manufacturers and importers includes Democratic co-sponsors Bob Casey (Pa.), Al Franken (Minn.), Kay Hagan (N.C.) and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.).

A Democratic bill in the House this year tied the repeal of the medical device tax to eliminating tax credits for oil companies. Yet a whopping 263 members, including Dems such as Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), signed on as co-sponsors to a clean bill from Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) for straight repeal.

Today’s amendment passed 248-174, with 17 Democrats crossing over to vote with Republicans.

The second amendment, delaying Obamacare’s implementation for a year, passed 231-192 with two Democrats crossing party lines as well as two Republicans.

Republicans Mike Coffman (Colo.) and Louie Gohmert (Texas) offered a bill to continue pay to 1.4 million military members regardless of a government shutdown.

“Our troops should not suffer for Washington’s failure to act,” said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.).

That passed 423-0, even though some lawmakers complained on the floor that other categories of government workers weren’t included.

The mood in the GOP caucus was said to be buoyant, with cheering heard as the party came together on a strategy and took it to the Rules Committee.

The clause on the contraceptive mandate was likely offered to conservatives disappointed that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) would seek a delay instead of full repeal. Twenty-one House members signed on to a letter two days ago urging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to stand with Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in opposing cloture on the continuing resolution.

Republican members of the Senate who allowed cloture on the original House bill yet voted against the bill after Democrats stripped the Obamacare repeal praised the House for its latest move.

“Today conservatives in the House took decisive action to keep the government open, delay a law clearly not ready for primetime, and repeal an onerous, job-killing tax that has overwhelming bipartisan opposition in the Senate,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said.

“If Senate Democrats force a shutdown by refusing to support these reasonable proposals, both of which their members have previously backed, then it will be clear who the real extremists in this Congress are.”

Senators were told to stay within a couple hours of D.C. over the weekend in case they needed to come back for a vote.

“Once again House Republicans have found a way to mount an ideological attack on women’s health as the clock ticks down on a crisis they created,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). “This is part of the right-wing playbook that’s going nowhere in the Senate. The truly unconscionable thing is that Republicans would try to rob women of access to health care while holding our economy hostage.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has vowed to not consider any continuing resolution that includes Obamacare, even a compromise from the total scrapping of the law sought by Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Cruz.

“It is important to note that these Tea Party obstructionists do not represent mainstream Republicans – either mainstream Republicans in Congress or mainstream Republicans in our great country. But unfortunately, their grip on the rudder of the Republican Party is firm. For the last few years, these radicals in the House and the Senate have driven America from crisis to crisis, leaving a trail of economic destruction behind them. And now they have taken the United States government hostage and demanded an impossible ransom: that Democrats repeal the law of this land – Obamacare,” Reid said on the floor Friday. “…Can we overcome the modern-day anarchists?”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
I wonder if we could ask the British to come back and burn Washington to the ground again?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I agree with TexEd. If the Democrats are smart they will take this deal. The GOP will get the temporary satisfaction of delaying Obamacare by a year but the Democrats will get a reprieve to give them time to do a more efficient rollout a year later and also to delay and thus obscure the terrible consequences of Obamacare until after the 2014 elections.

By agreeing to delay the Democrats up for re-election in 2014 can evade responsibility for Obamacare for another cycle. The only good side of this for the GOP is the hope that a clean sweep in 2014 will allow them to scrap the whole thing. But that is an unlikely prospect.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
DAMN FOOLS! The fix is in! Obama wants a delay! Obama needs a delay!
ObamaCare isn't ready and if launched now, even with the captive press, will fail of it's own weight.
The ever stupid republicans will give Obama the victory of appearing reasonable by giving away a point he desperately needs and giving nothing in return.
Watch the details! Obama will agree to a delay but only one that provides a resolution or new crisis AFTER the 11/14 elections.
The Republicans and the Russians will have pulled Obama's bacon (or whatever muslims eat) out of the fire, almost, in the same month.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (33)
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So, any bets on how long the Republicans will hold out before rolling over? I'm going with 24 hours.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hmmm, a "year long" delay? I don't see how this helps the cause of sqaushing obamacare. It's a dying cockroach right now, flailing on its back. Now is the time to stomp on it. A "perfectly executed" obamacare is economic and societal suicide for us. Why give them a year to perfect something that is going to destroy what's left of this country? Stand up now, and fight PLEASE.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I should add too, that this only builds upon my suspicion that Boehner and company really want this thing to happen as bad as Obama does. The republicans are just as liberal; only much more patient....
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Repeal of the medical devices... ?

WHAT ELSE in that PPACA that needs to be discussed and then acted upon for repeal? In those 2000 plus pages?

How about everything in those 2000 plus pages. Passed under the "whip" of the then Speaker of the House N. Pelosi because "We have to pass it to know what's in it".

As is habitual in assessment of important material that SHALL affect masses of individuals far into the future. Including degree courses in for example law or doctoral theses in institutions of "higher learning" as Harvard et al.

2000 pages of WHAT? Legal twaddle?

How long did it take for the enactment of the Bill as law to be imposed on ALL Americans. EXCEPT we now learn the "honourables" of Congress and any groups favoured by them to be exempted from its provisions.

How many of We The People read 2000 pages of ANYTHING? For our jobs or for pleasure.

So should we believe those Congressmen talking up repeal of the medical devices clauses KNOW WHAT ELSE is in those 2000 plus pages. More than 60 times as many pages as the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the US with explanatory commentary put together?

What was the rush of the Democrats of the Kennedy/Clinton/Obama wing of the Party to get this bill enacted as law? Just suppose, they are after all lawyers. as are Pelosi and H. Reid they know that a law on the books is virtually immortal. Once on never off. (like so many of the "Honourables" in Congress as N. Pelosi and H. Reid. Once in never out?)

The wheels of the Law grind slowly. So WHY was this PPACA so quickly rushed through the House to the Senate??? And then to SCOTUS?

A law on the books stays on the books. UNLESS there is EFFECTIVE resistance to its existence.

So instead of grandstanding with some single clauses why not be really brave? Have the guts to start effective notice to REPEAL the entire 2000 pllus pages. No "fiddling" around with single clauses.

There has been more discussioin more debate about single clauses of that Bill than the entire debate before enactment as law.

I rest my case. Res ipsa loguitur?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Remember, Porkulus still baselined into the CR's.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Note to Carney, the Senate hasnt passed a Budget for 4 years now. Harry Reid hasnt been doing his job.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The House has put together a good set of changes, a few Dems might want to hold their noses and vote for it. Obama is losing the PR battle, he is the intransigent perpetual teenager who can't bear talking to people with different points of view. The IRS just can't harrass enough people into remaining silent anymore.

If you believe in Obamacare, take the delay, shore up the glaring administrative "glitches" and have a smoother rollout a year from now.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I suppose it would be futile to instruct Sen Reid in the small but significant fact that "the law of the land" can of course be repealed. Perhaps someone can remind him that else slavery would still be legal ...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Tea Party obstructionists..."

You know what the communist thugs in the Soviet Union called anyone who was less than gung-ho for his own destruction? A WRECKER. Wrecker; obstructionist: same difference.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sorry, Tex, but a years delay to ObamaCare is the worst thing imaginable for the DemocRats.
Another year of uncertainty for employers and employees. Another year of workers getting downsized or part-timed thanks to impending ObamaCare.
A years delay yields all of the pain and none of the promised benefits.

People have been moved out of employer health plans and thrown into the exchanges....that do not exist. Another year of delay will swell their ranks.

And this puts this issue front and center for the 2016 presidential election... which makes it Hillary's headache....and what is she going to do? She was flogging HillaryCare when Obama was living on ramen noodles and bumming Kools fresh out of college.

The House is offering the Dems an ObamaCare political "Poison Pill"...which has a certain diabolical elegance.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Andrew McCarthy sez: "The Constitution expressly provides (in Article I, Section 7): “All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.” This Origination Clause applies to all spending legislation. As the clause elaborates, when the subject at issue involves spending public money, the Senate “may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills”; but it may not instigate spending. The Senate can tinker within the spending limits set by the House, but it must live within those limits. The continuing resolution to fund the government, which is the legislation at issue in the current controversy, is no exception. The Senate is not permitted to originate spending, as Majority Leader Harry Reid did on Friday, with the indulgence of Senate Republicans — who voted against his appropriation of Obamacare funds but did not challenge the validity of it."

So ... here we go again; illegality and mockery of our constitution in order to further the Obamacare agenda; just like Obamacare was rammed down our throats at the outset. Reid is lawless and so are many others; including those that are using the ol'; "you hate Obama if you don't pass this" BS.
The Senate CANNOT instigate spending.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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