House Will Vote Again To Repeal Obamacare, Mostly Pointlessly
During the 112th Congress, House Republicans cast votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, in whole or in part some thirty-three times. Each of those efforts died in the Senate, of course, and, even if they hadn’t, they would have been vetoed by the President. Now, it looks like they’re going to go through the whole pointless exercise again:
The House will vote again next week to repeal the 2010 health-care reform law, a decision by top Republican leaders designed in part to appease GOP freshmen lawmakers who have not had an opportunity to take a vote on the issue.
House Majority Leader Eric I. Cantor (R-Va.), who sets the House schedule, announced on Twitter on Wednesday that the vote will occur next week: “It just keeps getting worse. I am scheduling a vote for next week on the full repeal of
Cantor’s decision to schedule the vote comes as he’s devoted most of the House calendar in recent months to a series of bills that fit within his “making life work” agenda that emphasizes kitchen-table issues over slashing federal spending. Among such bills is the “Working Families Flexibility Act,” which would give private employers the option of offering workers additional time off in lieu of overtime pay and is set for a vote Wednesday.
Cantor had to pull another bill, called the “Helping Sick Americans Now Act,” two weeks ago amid opposition from conservatives who didn’t like that the measure would redistribute millions of dollars in funding established by the health-care law, but not repeal the entire law.
Several Republican aides say that Cantor’s decision to hold a vote on repealing the law will serve two mutually beneficial purposes for House Republicans: It will give about 30 House GOP freshmen who’ve never voted on such a bill the opportunity to do so — and then likely secure Cantor enough support to finally pass the “Helping Sick Americans Now Act.” In turn, those freshmen will be able to go home and tell constituents that they’ve voted to repeal the unpopular law, and Cantor will have succeeded in advancing his agenda.
If that’s what’s really involved here, then perhaps this isn’t quite as big a waste a time as all the other times the House GOP did this over the last two years. That will depend on what else Cantor is interested in advancing, and whether he can get his fellow Republicans to go along with it. For the moment, though, this looks like more pointless wheel spinning that will accomplish more than feed some meat to the GOP’s Tea Party base.