House votes to defund health care law
February 18th, 2011
03:14 PM ET
11 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sponsored the amendment and argued that the law, which he called "Obamacare" was "big government" and needed to be repealed. He said if it can't be repealed, Republicans "are going to try and defund it to the best of our ability."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. JD

    Well, it's obvious the Republicans, on both the state and national level, just want to take funding out of anything they oppose ideologically. I do hope today is remembered when Democrats have control of the House again.

    February 18, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  2. ConservaFascists

    Good luck trying to get that bill thru the Senate idiots. Healthcare reform is here to stay. Get over it. I here all this repeal talk and no talk about how you will replace it. I hear nothing about who will confiscate grandma and grandpas prescription drug checks from them or how will they reimburse the government forchecks that have already been issued.

    February 18, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Defund medical research while you're at it, because it's funded by taxpayers. If people can't have healthcare then taxpayers shouldn't fund medical research which they can't receive the benefits.

    February 18, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    P.S. $94 billion taxpayers dollars fund medical research.

    February 18, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    Rehberg, I'll tell you what is "big government": When a bunch of yahoos like you ignore the will of the American people who want to keep their health coverage when they get sick or have a special-needs child; Americans who want to get coverage for pre-existing conditions; Americans who want to be able to keep their children on their policies until they are 26 years old.

    Back in 2008, Democrats took the White House, Senate and Congress. That was the will of the people; they were elected to implement meaningful health care reform. You and your Republican cronies have tried to block every attempt to do this and are now resorting to political shenanigans to once again ignore the will of the people.

    Shame on you – and shame on your tactics! Why don't you instead just man up and say straight out that you care more about the health insurance and pharamceutical industries than you do for Americans!

    February 18, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  6. kyle

    This vote is a waist of time, where are the jobs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 18, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  7. CNN The Masters of Spin

    Hip Hip more ENTITLEMENT "we the people" don't have to pay for!
    Toooooooo bad Libbers.....GO GET A JOB!

    February 18, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  8. sonny chapman

    "VICTORY"- We're on our way to killing 45,000 Americans each year because they don't have health insurance !

    February 18, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  9. Video Guy

    Why waist time on this, it will not pass the senate and even the GOP Brotherhood knows it will not leave the WH Signed. I bit our (North Dakota) Tea Bag wonder voted for this.

    February 18, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  10. Glenn Koons

    God bless the Pubs. They actually did what they pledged for the good of the USA and its majority who knew Obamacare was pure mandated socialist baloney taking down free enterprise, choice of docs et al . Care alone would bankrupt the USA and along with the debt and deficits Obama and his Dem ilk are piling up.

    February 18, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  11. Glo

    The only people hurting the american public is the bunch of idiots that are trying to keep people from Health Care they need. They all have money and will never have to worry about getting medical assistance because they get the best care at our expense. Anything can goes as long as it is support by Obama. That is their #1 agenda is to try and make sure he fail as President. What a bunch of fools to say the least.

    February 18, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  12. Linton

    Right. Everyone loves being told they can't have HC coverage b/c of a pre-existing condition....or being cut off of HC insurance b/c some businessman CEO decides when you've had enough health care.

    But they'll spend $100 MILLION advertising the Army on NASCAR cars. Do these people have ANY sense whatsoever?
    (sorry, rhetorical question)

    February 18, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  13. seebofubar

    Nice to see our congress doing what the people want for a change. might be a good idea to take a lesson from these nobel congressmen.

    February 18, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  14. Irma in North Carolina

    Why doesnt the orange man and his gang work on getting jobs. Just anything to bring the president down again. All these jokers out to be run out of DC.

    February 18, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  15. fayse

    The Republican congressmen are idiots. They are pandering to the ultra extremist Tea Party. The GOP and George Bush took us to the brink of disastor now the Tea Party wants to finish us off.

    February 18, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  16. packerfan

    That's good; pass the blame. The CR is who's fault? These morons can add their amendments and it's okay, but now that the shoe is on the other foot, well........... It's like this, Rep. Levin, you vote no and it shuts down. AND your vote does count. GROW UP!

    February 18, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  17. MF

    Shame upon you republicans you only care about your health care which is the best. To you the middle and the poor can go and die. America do you see whats happening here. The republican only want to service the rich's needs. What would happen if all the middle and poor amerricans left america i would like to see the economy then,

    February 18, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  18. Freedom

    Thank you GOP!!! May God Bless You! GOP 2012 :)! Let freedom ring.

    February 18, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  19. kakaraka

    Really? Please stop using the name of american people with your stupid bill that will not benefit the same american people. You republicans are lech cul. How dare you spend billions on useless war in Iraq but refuse to give health care for your own people? How dare? This is nonsense to me.The middle class families and we poor people will suffer if health care bill is repealed or defunded. In this case, we the people must stop paying for the senate health care as well. Period.

    February 18, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  20. vic nashville tn

    People who don’t pay tax will get funds from republicans

    Iraqis, Pakistanis, Afghanistan, Egypt, Israel and Palestine

    Our tax money provide free health care out side USA

    Because In Republicans term We are “exceptionalism"

    February 18, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  21. Marcus

    "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."
    So basically; 'my way or the highway!!!!'
    Hey fella...
    What about the jobs?

    February 18, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  22. Four and The Door

    This is not just the Republicans in congress...this is the voice of American voters.
    Democracy does work for the people. ObamaCare was passed only by Democratic politicians ( many of who were convinced by monetary favor ) without the support of the Republicans or the American public.

    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.

    February 18, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  23. Truth Be Told

    According to democrats there's nothing to defund so what's the problem libturds?

    February 18, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  24. AEK

    Could we possibly spend a little time on coming up with the jobs they promised to the American people now that they're done tilting at windmills? What's good for their base of right wing Christian fanatics is not necessarily what's good for America.

    February 18, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  25. gar

    The Republicans are voting to take away the American people's freedom.

    February 18, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
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