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.