House GOP to move this week on health care repeal
January 3rd, 2011
05:00 PM ET
11 years ago

House GOP to move this week on health care repeal

Washington (CNN) - CNN has learned that Republicans plan to try to repeal the health care law almost immediately after taking control of the House, setting the stage for an early confrontation with President Obama.

House GOP sources tell CNN that they will unveil repeal legislation Monday night, even before they claim the majority Wednesday. Then, on Friday, Republicans will hold a critical procedural vote – the first step towards passing the repeal. A final House vote will likely take place next Wednesday.

Republicans have said for some time the House would take up repealing health care, a top GOP campaign issue, during the first month of the new Congress, but up to now have not revealed exactly when. Regardless, the repeal has little chance of passing the Senate.

Republicans say they decided to bring it up this soon to quickly respond to voters' frustration with the health care law, which Republicans argue is hurting the economy.

"Obamacare is a job killer for businesses small and large, and the top priority for House Republicans is going to be to cut spending and grow the economy and jobs," said Brad Dayspring, spokesman for incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-VA.

"Further, Obamacare failed to lower costs as the president promised that it would, and does not allow people to keep the care they currently have if they like it. That is why the House will repeal it next week," he said.

The fact that this will be taken up by the full House so soon without committee hearings will likely draw scorn from Democrats, since Republicans have pledged to make the House more open and transparent.

But, GOP sources insist the health care law has been litigated for two years, and say that they do intend to conduct health care hearings. Along with legislation for repeal will be instructions for key House committees to hold hearings on what new health care law should replace it.

Because House Republicans will have such big numbers in their new majority, they likely have the votes to pass the health care repeal. But Republicans admit the repeal will almost surely die in the Senate, where Democrats maintain control.

Given that reality, Republicans say their long term strategy for doing away with the health care law is to try to use Congress' power of the purse to choke funding and make it hard for the administration to implement the law.

Threats of a health care reform repeal by House Republicans did not appear to be rattling the White House.

An aide pointed out that Democrats still control the Senate and it appears highly unlikely that a repeal would pass in that chamber. In addition President Obama could use his veto pen.

Nonetheless, the White House is planning to push back. "We're going to defend the bill [law] and continue to stress all the benefits that are going into effect right now," said the aide.

And White House spokesman Reid Cherlin said, "We're confident about defending the law."

Meanwhile Senate Democratic leaders, anticipating this House Republican move, sent a letter Monday to incoming House Speaker John Boehner warning that repealing the health care law would take away "popular consumer protections that help middle class Americans," including fixing the so-called Medicare "donut hole," which caused higher prescription drug costs for seniors.

"Taking this benefit away from seniors would be irresponsible and reckless at a time when it is becoming harder and harder for seniors to afford a healthy retirement," wrote the Senate Democratic leaders.

Filed under: Health care • House Republicans
soundoff (228 Responses)
  1. Mike Conroy

    Good. Make our day. Couldn't wait to show your real stuff. This will go down in flames, healthcare "reform" such as it is will be instituted (let's see, my 23 year old daughter is going to be back on my plan as of Jan 1. I am NOT going to give that up without a fight.

    Boehner– give up your cushy, US taxpayer funded healthcare for life. Or shut up. Preferably, both

    January 3, 2011 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  2. CBR

    I hope that those who want to repeal health care will also promote a bill that gives every America the same health care insurance that members of the House and Senate and other government officials already have. Remember our tax dollars help cover the costs of that insurance.

    While they are at it perhaps they would like to find a way to pay the medical and hospital bills for those who do not have insurance. Remember we pay those bills as well.

    We hear the mantra jobs, jobs, jobs and that is the number one priority. Some of those jobs will not offer health insurance coverage. Who will pay their bills?

    January 3, 2011 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  3. patcee

    They were in charge up to 2005 and I never heard anything about any health care plans or job creations when the bottom was falling out of our economy. Where were all the Republican ideas then? We had a Republican president, house and senate and what did they do? Spent billions on war to make corporations richer through no-bid contracts (Halliburton, anyone?) and Bush set up programs with no way to pay for them (ex: prescription drug program). NOW they come forth with ways to save the country – after they helped put the car in the ditch. All they've done for two years is plot against Obama and said NO to anything worthwhile. What a crew!

    January 3, 2011 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  4. skip 66

    Hey Boehner, where are the damn jobs?? Didn't you get the message? Jobs jobs jobs. Stop wasting time on things you know nothing about. Healthcare is another subject. Focus buddy. Stop all that crying game and get the jobs going. That's what you said you heard. Another waste of time.

    January 3, 2011 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  5. welches, oregon

    it was all a scam from the beginning – a fraud. Their plan: demonize Obama and the Democrats in order to get their huge (double dip) tax cuts for the rich. And you idiot Republicans fell for it.

    January 3, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  6. Barry from Wisconsin

    Pandering to the right wing. The Republicans just don't get it. The election was not a mandate for their regressive agenda. It was voter disgust with the economy and jobs.

    January 3, 2011 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  7. walleye46

    Bohner says one priority of the GOP is to lower costs. How about every member of the senate getting the same health care that I have now. The GOP only works for Big Business i.e. the Health Care Companies and will say/do anything to keep the graft that is paid to them by these companies coming in. The people that voted GOP in November will now see what a band of crooks they are and their only concern is staying in office/power.

    January 3, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  8. Barry from Wisconsin

    One more thought. The health care bill has closed the "donut hole" for seniors and has given people with pre-existing conditions an opportunity to buy health insurance. The right wing wackos are trying to roll the country back to the 19th century – where children 12 years old worked in coal mines while the wealthy summered in Rhode Island.

    January 3, 2011 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  9. Just Me

    A waste of time and tax payers dollars. They all should give up the tax payer healthcare they currently enjoy. Karma is a B. I would not be surprise if one or more of them or their family members come down with some illness the same healthcare they are trying to repeal would be important to them then.

    January 3, 2011 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  10. Rose

    And the countdown for voters' remorse has begun.....NJ and VA are already having it with their shiny new governors. I'm sure PA will be next.

    Let's start a pool – how long will it be before the Tea Party folks who are on Social Security and Medicare realize they've been bamboozled?

    January 3, 2011 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  11. walleye46

    If the GOP is so concerned about rising costs, why did they vote to extend the Bush taxes for two more years. They know the Govt needs the money to reduce the deficit. Remember, the only look out for the top 2% RICH and forget about the rest of Americans. .

    January 3, 2011 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  12. walter

    Oh my, the Republicans are doing what they said they would do if there were elected. All the libs are going to squawk, but the fact is a majority of Americans voted for Republicans and they now hold the keys to the House. Get used to it – the party's over.

    January 3, 2011 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  13. Pretzel Logic

    It won't work and they know it. They're simply trying to appease nimrods like 4 and the door and Jimmy23. When it doesn't work, they'll use it as fodder for the 2012 campaign and gripe about how they need to have majorities in the House and Senate and the White House as well, just like the good ole' days under GWB, when we started a needless unfunded war and gave huge tax breaks to the uber-wealthy.

    January 3, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  14. Septuagenarian

    Repeal is a waste of time and money. It is going absolutely nowhere. It is unlikely to come to the Senate floor if passed by the House. It is even more unlikely to come to a vote if it should come to the Senate floor; there are not enough votes there to invoke closure. If, against all odds, it should pass the Senate it will be vetoed by the President–and there are not enough votes in either the House or the Senate to override the veto.

    And what they should be addressing are the recommendations of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

    This is purely a partisan political game, fiscally irresponsible and NOT in the national interest.
    What those elected turkeys do not understand is that there is far, far more urgent business they need to do, for example the appropriation bills for the fiscal year that BEGAN Oct 1, 2010.

    January 3, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  15. walleye46

    I predict that the GOP and the new Tea Party representatives will eat themselves apart like all jackals do.

    January 3, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  16. G. R.R.

    So now, we get to find out if Obama has finally grown a backbone.

    January 3, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  17. P.D.

    The Republicans 'Win' will be short lived. They were all about 'Creating' jobs just a couple of months ago, NOW we are seeing their true colors. They will investigate, repeal and stall our progress to help out Big Business and the Ultra Wealthy.

    January 3, 2011 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  18. ChicagoD

    Hey guys. It's really good to see so many like-minded people (with about ninety percent of you agreeing that this is pathetic Republican posturing), but I don't know what good it is doing to sit here and party with one another when the point of these forums is to put forth ideas that might persuade others to agree with you. So I would like to invite you to join me in the trenches of the Foxnews website (where 90 percent think their representatives are heroes for standing up to Obama socialism). I think if more people with progressive ideas were to stand up to them on their own turf, there wouldn't be so many people that consistently vote against their own interest. What do you think?

    January 3, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  19. Cliff Vegas

    Repeal "Obamacare" and replace it with what?? At least Obama and the Dems tried to do something to solve some pretty terrible problems – e.g., rescission, the donut hole. At last we see the Republicans for what they really are... "The Party of No Answers."

    January 3, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  20. Ready_to_Fight

    The republican party is ONCE AGAIN showing how ignorant and selfish they really are. We are still in a deep hole in reference to jobs, the economy, energy issues, housing and banking reform. Instead of having an agenda to push forward ideas of solving these important issues republicans want to wage an almost certain losing battle ( remember democrats still hold power in the Senate. Obama and the previous House and Senate just came off the MOST succssful LAME DUCK session in history, and this is what you want to do . Keep it up GOP remember when we fight, we fight to win

    January 3, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  21. lhamanda

    Ram it down their throats is what they said when it passed, now look who is trying to do the ramming. Not even in office and the first thing they are going to do is "Ram it right back" I hope all you dimwitted Billy Bobs are proud of yourself. Next you will all be sniffin behind Sarah, if you don't already..

    January 3, 2011 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  22. Y

    The Republicans need to look for a compromise, just like Obama did on taxes? Hmmm...maybe the guy was pretty smart after all. Even if they read this, I doubt they will do it. They have one agenda. THEM!

    January 3, 2011 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  23. vikingslost

    2012 can't get here fast enough to vote those Republicans, who were elected in 2010, back out of office.

    Stephanie Herseth Sandlin get your campaign speech ready because Krist Noem is an airhead, just like those in the picture.

    January 3, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  24. Dick

    What happened to all the jobs that were promised by extending the Bush tax cuts? Now the Republicans are saying Obamacare killed them? What will be the excuse after Obamacare is repealed? Don't hold your breath waiting to get any jobs out of the Republicans.

    January 3, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  25. sam kohen

    Let the GOP show to the public their alternative plan, if they even have one, before moving ahead to repeal the existing legislation. To do otherwise is simply insane.

    Better still, why don't the GOP simply prepare a series of amendments to the new legislation that are up to their taste rather then seek to repeal it. They might actually have a real chance with this.

    January 3, 2011 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
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