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sponsored the amendment and argued that the law, which he called "Obamacare" was "big government" and needed to be repealed. He said if it can't be repealed, Republicans "are going to try and defund it to the best of our ability."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

    With one or two notable exceptions, Republicans are all idiots. They are secretly (and unbeknownst to most of them) killing the great middle class of this country. The current, ongoing recession is not the fault of big government, it is the fault of big banks and a greedy Wall Street. But since most Republican campaigns are financed by these two entities, they won't admit it. John Boehner has no qualms about laying off almost a million government employees in the name of "small government, but he makes no mention of those million people all applying for unemployment insurance and then slowly sinking into poverty. He doesn't care. The same Republicans are devoutly against raising taxes on those who make over a million dollars a year, because that would be "un-American". As I said at the top, they are all idiots.

    February 18, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  2. james

    EXCEPTIONAL!!! Now, let the Senate Democrats kill it and we'll all know who's shutting down the government on March 4. This is exactly why America voted Republican on November 2 - to prevent this atrocity from infecting America. House Republicans have voted to prevent an infection from becoming a disease. Excellent work.

    February 18, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  3. XWngLady

    So much for "compassionate conservatism"...

    February 18, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    In other words, folks, the GOP does not care about jobs, or anything, except catering to the Loony fringe that has no real solutions. If they are so obvious, please implement them and stop playing games with people's lives.

    February 18, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  5. chill

    That pretty much proves this is all for show. There is no way this is acceptable to the Senate or White House. It will be rejected. While the amount is certainly negotiable, to defund entirely, while it is something promised by the Tea Party in the Fall, is a poison pill that will not stand. If they don't back down, then they are clearly trying to shut down the government once again.

    February 18, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. buffoon

    Why are the GOP such bitter losers? 🙂

    February 18, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  7. Centrist

    I didn't think taxpayer money was going towards ObamaCare.

    February 18, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  8. AEK

    On the up side though,, these same geniuses voted to allow the Pentagon to continue to spend $7 million to sponsor NASCAR teams. Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 18, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  9. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    "Instead of searching for common ground..."

    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?

    And now, when a majority of Americans want Obamacare repealed, the Dems are doing their best to keep their medical tyranny intact, and trying to blame the GOP for the consequences of that tyranny.

    February 18, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  10. Gaylon Barrow

    HURRAY. Now let Obama VETO the bill. Of course he won't have too for it won't clear the house. But it really doesn't matter. The states will just ban it. Obama is only driving nails into his reelection. cand you not understand no mopre spending. you have already bankrupt this nation. Ignorance can not blame this on anyone else except you. You have increased the debt faster than any other President before you. Now hear the ignorants try to blame the GOP> SORRY THE DEMOCRATS HGAVE BEEN IN CONTROL FOR THE LAST 6 YEARS> YOUR IDEAL WILL SIMPLY NOT FLY>

    February 18, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  11. Chas in Iowa

    Another GOP total waste of time and taxpayer money. With no chance of passage in the Senate it amounts to so much more GOP theater. The GOP is turning Washington into Hollywood East but what they are putting out isn't selling.
    What ever happened to the GOP's commitment to concentrate on jobs.

    February 18, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  12. B

    This is exactly the kind of nonsense and waste of taxpayers money spending time on partisan theater that the Republicans know will NOT become law.

    It is no wonder that the American people are so cynical about the government now and for good reason. This is all for the base and does Zero to move ahead with solving the issues of JOBS.

    February 18, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  13. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    58% of Americans do not want the job killing republicans to defund health reform, but the GOP is hell bent on raising the deficit by $230 billion.

    February 18, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. Name Creole

    Where are the JOB'S???????????????? You all ran on you fakes

    February 18, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  15. Bill from GA

    And when are the repugs going to start to work on creating all of those jobs, as they pledged to do when running for office last fall??

    February 18, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  16. anotherGDlefty

    House of representatives, and this makes or has anything to do with jobs how??

    That's what you ran on, why are you wasting time with everything but that?

    February 18, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  17. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "Instead of searching for common ground this amendment intensifies warfare. Instead of collaboration this amendment would mean chaos."
    I've grown weary of the evil incarnate that makes up the majority of the House.
    I'm too tired and worn-out by their anti-American tactics and liasons to comment to this latest GOP move.
    But I would like to take this moment to thank all the yahoos, and amnesiacs that voted this crap back into the House.
    The phrase " What were you thinking?" just doesn't begin to cover it. You all working yet? Nah, didn't think so.

    February 18, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  18. Citizen for Progress, Liberty, and Freedom

    Ah I see that's the Ace they were hiding in their sleeve when Boehner said what he did. What toy with the lifespan of the US and all for some gd cash. The lengths these new Republicans will go to make sure the Pharamceutical Lobbies keeps their pockets lined with cash is absolutely abhorrent. Frankly I hope the whole thing falls to pieces just like Karl Marx said. Maybe then the REAL Americans who still remember what the Founding Fathers and their intent was can rebuild the country. Unfortunately I think we'd have a redux of the Civil War as well. Good thing we took that High Speed Rail! We're STILL better connected, have more production facilities, and larger at least we'd win...but I can't help but think...why does Violence always have to be the response to Cash...and why is Cash so important? Perhaps if it was spread out more intelligently our economy wouldn't be suffering because everyone would be able to afford their bills and buy new objects or services...not to mention Car Repairs or many of us run around without Insurance cuz $125 bucks a month is enough to break the bank? Perhaps it would be best if we weren't so fearful of History...or felt the need to rewrite it *coughfoxcough*. All I'm saying is, hijacking the country and threatening to dump it off a cliff for a few bucks is demonic and purely evil. And the worst part the folks who voted these guys in thought something new and different was gonna come from the Tea Party. It was a nice dream and all the red, white, and blue was pretty enough...but we've been on this course too long and these guys are just trying to squeeze in a few extra bones before the whole thing falls apart around us. First it's our global military bases/geopolitical allies by Peasant Revolutions (which...we SHOULD support...but instead support the fascist dictator...Democracy Now! Right?) it's the rest of our economy over the next few election cycles...and with the gradual deregulation of Unions (Unions suck? Oh really? I bet you're glad there's a minimum wage, child labor laws, and disability! Unions Baby. Oh and for the record...all of these things, and healthcare of ANY kind provided by the government is Socialist in nature. NOT A SCARY THING.....IF you've done your research and truly know what all those different terms mean) we might find ourselves truly "conserving the way of american life" right back to when the Cotton Gin came out. Oh boy I cant wait to lose fingers in looms!

    For real though...the country's government should not be a bargaining chip. It should be a Government...governing...

    February 18, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. Freedom Now!

    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 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  20. seebofubar

    It is amazing how ignorant some liberals are. Did you not pay atention when you were in school? Do you understand anything about economics and sypply abd demand? This healthcare bill if it continues will only raise the cost of care and put a huge finfntial burden on know...the ones that hire people and pay your wages? By stopping this insane bill Congress may have just saved your grow up.

    February 18, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  21. OBAMA - One Big Arse Mistake America

    GREAT NEWS!!! Stop this unconstitutional federal intrusion into our personal lives. This isn't the old Soviet Union, as much as the Democrats would like to think so.

    February 18, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. DWB

    Four and the Door–Please check your facts before you spew on this page again. Please name one Democratic Poliician who was "convinced by monetary favor " to pass the Health Care Bill If you do happen to name one (which I doubt) please site the source other then Fox, or tea party websites as to where I can find this factual information. And What should we replace HC with?

    February 18, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. John

    The Republicans are using blackmail here, threatening to shut down the government entirely unless the President completely surrenders health care reform. The President must not stand for this.

    February 18, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  24. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    6 weeks and still Boner has not gotten around to a job creating bill. What a pile of useless crap the republicans, baggers, right wingnuts, Birchers, Beckerheads, Fox viewers, and fascists are.

    February 18, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  25. Indiana Voter

    Where are the JOB'S???????????????? You all ran on you fakes


    Democrats still control the Senate and the White House. Nice try on trying to put blame on others.

    February 18, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
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