House Republicans Back Obamacare Delay Despite Senate Rejections

Image: House Republicans Back Obamacare Delay Despite Senate Rejections

Tuesday, 01 Oct 2013 09:47 AM

By John Gizzi

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Most House Republicans stood behind the strategy of including measures to delay Obamacare in continuing resolutions to keep the government funded despite the Senate's quick rejection of each version.

"I felt that if the Democratic Senate really turned down this latest offer, it would show the voters that the Democrats are really the ones who are causing this shutdown," Republican Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas told Newsmax.

"And I would love to write the commercials to use against those Democratic senators who are up for election next year and voted to give themselves a subsidy for healthcare while giving the rest of the public the short end of the stick," Stockman said.

As midnight approached Monday, the Democratic-controlled Senate rejected the third Republican version of the continuing resolution (CR), one that disappointed some conservatives – including Stockman – because it delayed only the healthcare mandate for individuals for one year, rather than all of Obamacare.

This means that Republicans have toned down their CR twice – from one ten days ago that defunded Obamacare, to one early Sunday morning that delayed it for a year, to the latest version with its year-long delay of the individual mandate.

The latest measure, which passed the House by a vote of 208 to 201 earlier Monday evening, also included a provision that members of Congress, the president, and political appointees will get health insurance through the Obamacare exchanges and without any employer contribution.

Stockman said unions such as the Teamsters who have voiced severe disappointment in the implementation of Obamacare "should join with us now. Their 'Cadillac plans' are really impacted by this and if the unions don't help us now, we won't have any incentive to help them later."

But 12 other Republican lawmakers disappointed in the latest version of the CR did not follow Stockman's example and vote for it.

The 12 Republicans in the House opposing the CR were Reps. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), Joe Barton (Texas), Paul Broun (Ga.), Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.), Charlie Dent (Pa.), Phil Gingrey (Ga.), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Kay Granger (Texas), Peter King (N.Y.), Steve King (Iowa.), Thomas Massie (Ky.) and Mike Rogers (Ala.).

However, two Democrats who backed Republicans on the total Obamacare delay over the weekend – Mike McIntyre (N.C.) and Jim Matheson (Utah) – were joined by seven more Democrats in supporting the latest version of the Republican CR last night: Ron Barber (Ariz.), John Barrow (Ga.), Steven Horsford (Nev.), Dan Maffei (N.Y.), Sean Maloney (N.Y.), Raul Ruiz (Calif.), and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.). All were elected in competitive and close contests last fall.

The two Republicans who opposed the total delay of Obamacare over the weekend, New York Reps. Chris Gibson and Richard Hanna, came "back in the fold" to support the watered-down version Monday.

"I am confident our leadership can reach out on this issue and bring back our colleagues who voted against the CR tonight," Rep. Chuck Fleischmann of Tennessee told Newsmax shortly after the House vote. "We had nine Democrats come over to us and that's significant."

Fleischmann said that back in his district, "people have been very strong against Obamacare since I was first elected and they still feel that way. They want us to work to get rid of it. They also are very strong for keeping the government running. With the vote tonight, I am trying to achieve both of those goals.

"Referring to the Senate votes against the CR and statements from the White House, Fleischmann said that "both consistently show they aren't going to compromise. It's now up to the American people to convince them. So just watch."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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