Republicans Seek to Defund Health Care LawAugust 7, 2013
The Republican controlled House has voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) on numerous occasions. Republicans in both chambers have now launched a major push to withhold funding for implementation of the PPACA.
A substantial number of Republicans have cosponsored the Defund Obamacare Act of 2013 (H.R.2682/S. 1292). H.R.2682, introduced by Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.), has 139 sponsors and S.1292, introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), has 30 sponsors. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell ( R-Ky.) and Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) are cosponsors. The House Republican leadership has, however, been skeptical about such an approach and is reluctant to set a course likely to lead to a government shut-down in October.
A government funding bill (either an omnibus appropriations bill or a continuing resolution) must be passed in September or the government will run out of money and be forced to shut down on Oct. 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year. A substantial portion of Republicans stand ready to vote against any spending bill that continues funding for the health care law.
The Democratic controlled Senate and the President, of course, will defend funding for the health care law. The debate over the federal budget in September will be contentious for a wide variety of reasons. The dispute over PPACA funding will make it more so.