House votes to defund health care law
February 18th, 2011
03:14 PM ET
12 years ago

House votes to defund health care law

Washington (CNN) - The House of Representatives voted Friday to bar any federal agency from spending money to implement the new health care law.

The vote was on an GOP amendment to a bill that would cut government spending for the rest of this fiscal year, and fell mostly along party lines, 239-187.

The Republican-led House passed a measure last month repealing health care, but that bill is unlikely to go anywhere in the Senate where Democrats are in control. The Friday vote was the first attempt by House Republicans to block the law by denying money to agencies – such as the Department of Health and Human Services - which are responsible for implementing the various provisions of the health care law. The measure applies to 2011 funds. The biggest parts of the law take effect in 2014.

Montana Republican Denny Rehberg sponsored the amendment and argued that the law, which he called "Obamacare" was "big government" and needed to be repealed. He said if it can't be repealed, Republicans "are going to try and defund it to the best of our ability."

Democrats argued that attaching this amendment to a spending bill to keep the government running only increases the chance that the fight over the bill could lead to a government shutdown.

Michigan Democratic Rep Sander Levin argued, "If this amendment would become part of the CR [continuing resolution] there will be no CR." Addressing House Republicans on the House floor, Levin said, "and that will be your responsibility, your responsibility."

Levin said cancelling money for the health care law would "paralyze" agencies from laying the groundwork for big reforms coming in 2014. "Instead of searching for common ground this amendment intensifies warfare. Instead of collaboration this amendment would mean chaos."

Perhaps recognizing that the amendment is unlikely to survive negotiations with the Senate, Rehberg said this was only the first attempt to defund the law. "If we are not successful this time we are going to try again and again and again until we have either a Senate that's willing to pass it or a president that understands that we cannot do this to the American people."

soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. once upon a horse

    as I said before and will continue to say....those of you who thiink the GOP is going to create some if any jobs before the election next year have been fooled by the fear and smoke and mirrors of the GOP from 2010. Even though this bill will die in the Senate and Obama will veto if it doesn't, the GOP continues to work to NOT help make the economy get better. More jobs and a better economy only helps Obama in 2012 and that's the LAST thing the far right wants to do. The economy may continue to improve over the next year but it sure won't be due to anything the Repubs have done to help it.

    February 18, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  2. GT6

    The republicans will do anything to shift the focus away from the fact that they are doing nothing to create JOBS.

    February 18, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  3. Rick in Phx

    WOW CNN... There are some here and I need not mention who but, instead of trying to make it seem as if it's their own personal thoughts, should just post the parts of the transcripts of the Glenn Beck show that their quoting from.

    February 18, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    And this creates jobs how?

    Besides, i doesn't make it past the Senate and, even in the unlikely event that it does, Obama vetoes it. Moreover, polls show that the majority of Americans did not agree with a whole-hog approach to "repeal," which is what this functionally is. This is just more GOP doing the head bob knob slob job for corporate interests in hopes it wins them favors and riles the morons they've hoodwinked into believing that they have anything other than their own power and corpoarte money on their minds.

    February 18, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  5. 1 healthcare system

    ONE health care system first.....
    Everyone pays the same...
    No person's life is more than another, period....
    Everyone is treated with the same care at the same price...
    I would have thought that would be the Christian path that the Republicans would pursue...

    February 18, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  6. D Lee

    To all of you Republican idiots who claim that it's unconstitutional for the government to force it's citizens to buy insurance. Wake up you dumb sh!t, we are already being forced to buy car insurance.

    February 18, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    It is amazing how ignorant and misinformed Fox viewers and right wingnut baggers are about the cost of health reform. Facts and CBO reports are always ignored by these Koch heads. They just tune in Beck for a new conspiracy theory every day.

    February 18, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  8. Patrick from Minnesota

    I have a suggestion for the House: how's about you pass something that even had e remote chance of getting by the Senate and the White House? If you guys think that just because you vote to do something means the Senate and White House will follow, you have clearly wasted our time. Enjoy your power while you have it...

    February 18, 2011 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  9. Marcus

    Henry Miller, Libertarian – 'Where was the "search for common ground" when the Dems locked the GOP out of the process of imposing Obamacare on a country a majority of the voters of which did not want it?'
    How I miss the real 'Henry Miller'...! Are you 'seedofubar'? He also tried a stunt with easily debunkable lies today...
    OK, whoever you are, do you honestly think that we cannot check the archives section of this Ticker?
    Because, by doing so we remember (supposing that we have forgotten of course):
    – The Republicans took part of the process of elaboration of the ACA, just to say 'NO!' almost non-stop (true) to any proposition. When they were asked 'OK, what's YOUR proposition?'. They hadn't any workable.
    – The CBO showed flaws on the first project (of the ACA), the Republicans praised the CBO and the Dems corrected the project, the CBO then said that the ACA will save money the way it is now and suddenly all credibility of the CBO was gone for the GOP (who STILL had no viable alternative to the bill).
    – The procedures were all legal and consitutionally speaking right, the Dems simply lost their patience with the GOP and moved the bill to vote it. VOTE, not impose, it.
    – The part that 'the majority of the voters did not want it? True, back then.
    Show us a poll (not made by FOX) that tells that the majority of voters still don't want it.

    February 18, 2011 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  10. juliei4

    You all wonder why the health insurance companies gave millions to the GOP in the last election – you just saw the payback today. They don't have the guts to vote on one piece of it at a time, because then even the people they have lied to to get their vote will realize that the GOP is really only interested in the wealthy and the corporations. They also voted to totally defund Planned Parenthood today – where many poor women can get gyn check-ups and birth control. What would that lead to? Oh yes, more abortions, just the thing they are trying to stop. Dumb – Dumb – Dumb!

    February 18, 2011 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |

    What I don't get is this. The same people who are getting universal care and free education for life along with their own families are the ones stating it does not work and it is a waste of money. If they say it does not work then why they won't join the masses?
    What is worse is that we are not only paying for thier health care an education but also for the criminals in jail. Imagine that, the one who killed the one you loved now is being taken care off by you. Now, DO REPUBLICANS CARE ABOUT YOU?!

    February 18, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  12. American

    The "new" Congress of partisan politicians is wasting our dollars again on gimmicks that have absolutely no chance of passing, instead of working together on realistic solutions. Who voted for these clowns?

    February 18, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  13. usualone

    I have never ever seen such a bunch of mean-spirited people as the Republicans in power. They show their self-centered nature by depriving millions of Americans their rights to health insurance. They see a narrow scope of what Planned Parenthood is about. They will close down the government. Yet they keep us in the wars that drain most of our monies. Maybe we should not be required to have driver's licenses if we drive. Yeah right. Foolish people those Republicans who continue to show their selfishness. We just met a group of Canadians and people from England and they are not hurt at all by their health care and find our ways startling, and that is a mild comment.

    February 18, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  14. Marcus

    Glenn Koons – besides the 'God bless...' part, not a single thing you say stand if confronted with facts.
    And still you believe in it.

    Four and The Door – 'Just repeal ObamaCare and put in a better bill that reduces the cost of health care and gets the support of the American public. This is what we eventually need to have.'
    It does not matter that CBO PROVED that ACA (not ObamaCare) does exactly that, does it?
    Thought so...

    February 18, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  15. JHA in Texas

    House Republicans just SHUT DOWN THE GOVERNMENT with this votes. Listen to the American people, we want healthcare, we want JOBS, JOBS, JOBS,JOBS. Republicans campaign promise that JOBS,JOBS,JOBS, would be priority No. 01. Stop wasting this country's time and money and scheduling one week off after House works two weeks. No business in America has two work weeks, followed by one week off. Get to work on getting your fellow unemployed Americans JOBS, JOBS, JOBS.

    February 18, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  16. The Real Tom Paine

    @Four and the Door: Repeal the Patriot Act, since that makes no real sense either, since it violates the Constitution as well. By your logic, both should be scrapped and replaced, so be even-handed.

    February 18, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  17. BJ

    "Compassionate conservatism" is an oxymoron. Nothing the least bit compassionate about the GOP.

    February 18, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  18. American

    Rather than wasting valuable time and our taxpayer dollars, WHERE is the focus on jobs? Wasn't that what Boehner promised? Transparent politics. Give me a break.

    February 18, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  19. OneMoreTime

    @seebofbar: Yes, I paid attention, doing very well, thank you and I can spell too.

    February 18, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  20. Rdepontb

    Republican smokescreen--where are those efforts at job creation that was to be the number one priiority???

    Yes, reducing the deficit–better yet, eliminating it–is critical. But jobs first, ok??? Not condoms, not abortion, not NPR.....JOBS!

    February 18, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  21. Monster Zero

    Great News, that along with the recent Federal court rulings will perhaps stave off the onslaught of the Socialist Progressives. This is too freaking funny, these idiots are too stupid to figure out the State and Fed are broke. The private side has been decimated for three years now while the Government employee's continue getting their over compensatory paychecks, healthcare and pensions. What is the libtard answer, why raise taxes of course, yep, we want to raise taxes while we have 20 million unemployed, 1 million being foreclosed on and people trying to maintain their own livelihoods. We want to make sure that we provide for those that serve us a much better quality of life than we can provide for ourselves.

    February 18, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  22. True American

    did the GOP cut their salaries and their taxpayer paid healthcare benefits as part of this package?

    February 18, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  23. John G

    Democrats WASTED 2 years not doing anything about jobs. Republicans have had all but 1-1/2 months. Liberal math would look at that as being equal of course. Liburds are truly pathetic parasites.

    February 18, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
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