House conservatives are working hard to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood. Since Obamacare was signed into law, I have coauthored more than 35 bills to repeal it, and I have joined a majority of the House in voting more than 60 times to repeal all, or parts, of the law.
In June, my colleagues and I on the House Appropriations Committee passed the fiscal year 2016 appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services. Our spending bill defunded Obamacare and eliminated funding for the so-called ‘death panels’ and other outrageous parts of the law. Unfortunately, these good bills never get to the President’s desk because the Republican Senate will not change their rule that requires a minimum of 60 votes to pass a bill. This internal procedural rule that could be changed by a simple majority has left Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid in charge of deciding which bills pass and which bills fail. This is deeply upsetting to all of us who understand the urgency of stopping the damage being done to our great nation by President Barack Obama.
To get around this 60 vote Senate rule, today the House passed a budget bill known as “reconciliation” that only requires 51 votes to pass the Senate. With 54 Republicans in the Senate, it is likely the measure will move ahead.
This reconciliation bill is the only way to bypass the Senate's 60 vote requirement. Unfortunately we could not repeal every detail of Obamacare, but we repealed as much as we could and still qualify the bill to pass with 51 votes under the Senate’s procedural rules.
This important bill repeals Obamacare's individual mandate and the employer mandate. It repeals the medical device tax and the "Cadillac" health care plan tax. It repeals the auto enrollment mandate and repeals a slush fund freely used by agency bureaucrats to fill just about any financial hole they wish without approval of Congress. The sections we repealed are so vital to the survival of Obamacare that if we succeed, this disastrous health care plan would collapse.
The bill we passed today also blocks federal funding for Planned Parenthood and transfers that funding to women's health care provided by federally funded community health centers. All together, this vital legislation will save taxpayers at least $136 billion. National Right to Life, Family Research Council and Americans for Tax Reform all support the reconciliation bill. Planned Parenthood and Heritage Action oppose the bill.
The Senate is expected to take up the bill in the coming weeks. While some senators have threatened to oppose the House bill because it does not go far enough, the Senate will have the chance to make our bill stronger. With Senate cooperation, we will send a bill to the President’s desk that repeals some of the most damaging sections of Obamacare.
As your representative, I am doing everything within my power to free Texans from the President’s damaging left-wing agenda and to protect the America we know and love.