House Passes ObamaCare Delays for Employers and Individuals
The House voted 264-161 today to authorize President Obama's unilateral decision to delay the employer mandate for ObamaCare by one year.
That was followed by a 251-174 vote to delay the individual mandate for a year.
Thirty-five Democrats voted for the employer mandate delay and 22 Dems voted for the individual mandate delay. Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) was the only GOP to vote against each.
Griffith said it was a protest vote against ObamaCare's existence.
“The Democrats drafted Obamacare as they wanted it. They set the timetables. And then they rammed it through without Republican support. Ever since, the Administration has been working on the law’s implementation, and they haven’t been able to make the law work as designed. I don’t believe they can ever make it work as designed," the Virginia Republican said.
“In essence, Obamacare is like an abscessed tooth – delaying fixing the problem is not going to make it better; it only makes it worse.”
Even though Obama's Treasury Department announced the yearlong employer mandate delay, the White House threatened to veto both GOP bills.
"Rather than attempting once again to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which the House has tried nearly 40 times, it's time for the Congress to stop fighting old political battles and join the President in an agenda focused on providing greater economic opportunity and security for middle class families and all those working to get into the middle class," the Office of Management and Budget said in the veto threat.
"H.R. 2667 is unnecessary, and H.R. 2668 would raise health insurance premiums and increase the number of uninsured Americans. Enacting this legislation would undermine key elements of the health law."
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) mocked Obama for threatening to veto his own proposal, the yearlong employer mandate delay.
In a floor speech, the senator called the threat "surreal."
“President Obama thinks he can pick and choose which laws to enforce for the sake of his own convenience," Cornyn said. “If this president or any president is allowed to selectively enforce the law based on political expediency, our democracy and adherence to the rule of law will be severely weakened."
“By assuming to be able to unilaterally suspend laws that prove inconvenient, the president is showing disdain for those checks and balances on executive authority as well as his oath where he pledges to faithfully execute the laws of the United States."
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said if Obama wanted the employer-mandate delay, "it is only right that the change be codified by Congress and the same relief be extended to American families and individuals who are going to bear the brunt of the burden under the individual mandate."
“If the president really wanted to mitigate the negative impact the law will have on job creation and employers, he would stop resorting to extralegal maneuvering and unilateral decision making and instead work with the House to find a solution for all Americans," Issa added.