Sen. Vitter Pushes Congress to Play Fair on Obamacare

Wednesday, 30 Apr 2014 08:29 PM

By Lisa Degnen

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Sen. David Vitter is again trying to ensure that members of Congress are prohibited from sidestepping Obamacare for themselves at the same time they are foisting it on the rest of the country.

The Louisiana Republican filed an amendment to an energy bill on Wednesday that would require President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and political appointees to get their health coverage through the new state-based health care exchanges.

He would also like to prohibit lawmakers from obtaining employer-based subsidies to help pay for that healthcare or exempt staff members from the exchanges as well. The Washington Times reports.

The amendment would be attached to energy efficiency legislation written by Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

It's not the first time Vitter has attempted to even the playing field regarding rules surrounding the Affordable Care Act.

Last year he made the same push, effectively killing the Shaheen-Portman bill over partisan objections to what became known as "the Vitter Amendment," Politico reports.

Despite Vitter's struggle for more transparency surrounding the Obamacare rules, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has refused to bring the matter up for a vote.

"I guess he had such a good time a year ago when he brought this up, he'd want to try it again," the Nevada Democrat said of Vitter.

Vitter responded by saying Reid is trying to protect his own exemptions and the exemptions of his staffers from Obamacare.

Some in the Senate are pushing for a binding vote to approve the Keystone XL pipeline next week, but that isn't likely to happen, Reid said.

"I'm putting it off, he said of Keystone talks. "If we can work something out, I would strongly consider, as I said yesterday, having a vote on this. But with Vitter, now I don't know what we can do."

Vitter said that he would be more than happy to have his legislation as a stand-alone bill.

"Harry Reid doesn't want that, because he seems convinced that he belongs in a special ruling class," Vitter said.

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