Leah Jessen December 30, 2015
For the first time, Congress will send a bill that repeals Obamacare and defunds Planned Parenthood to President Barack Obama’s desk.
Republicans used the budget reconciliation process—a fast-track method to avoid a filibuster from Senate Democrats—to pass the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act earlier this month. The GOP-controlled House will vote on the bill next week.
“You can use this bill once a year, and we used it for this,” House Speaker Paul Ryan recently said on Bill Bennett’s radio show.
“In doing so, we’re forcing the president to confront the failures of this law once and for all,” a statement from Ryan’s office said. Although the House has passed several repeal measures, this is the first to reach Obama’s desk.
“This bill effectively repeals the mandates and taxes at the heart of the law.”
After allegations were raised this year that Planned Parenthood is harvesting and selling baby body parts, Republicans have worked to stop federal funding for the nation’s largest abortion provider. The reconciliation bill shifts funds to community health centers instead.
The version of the reconciliation bill initially passed in the House in October and was amended by the Senate in December. The House plans to vote on the Senate-passed legislation when Congress returns from recess next week.
Obama is expected to veto the bill. It would take a two-thirds vote by the House and Senate to override a presidential veto.