House votes 239-186 to repeal Obamacare

The GOP-House voted Tuesday evening to fully repeal Obamacare, sending the bill to a Republican Senate that seems likely to at least try to pass it in the coming weeks.

There was little doubt the bill could pass in a House with a stronger Republican majority, and it passed easily 239-186.

Republicans have held full Obamacare repeal votes in every session of Congress, and have won the support of just a few Democrats. This time around, no Democrats voted with Republicans, and three Republicans voted against the bill: Reps. Bob Dold (Ill.), John Katko (N.Y.), and Bruce Poliquin (Maine).

The debate and vote gave both parties a chance to run through their usual arguments for and against the law. Republicans said said the law is leading to higher healthcare costs and less choice for Americans who have seen many of their insurance plans canceled because they don’t meet new standards under the law.

Republicans also said a repeal is needed so Congress can start over and build a new reform plan that gives people more choice.

“We need a new system,” said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). “We need a system that puts the patients first, one that controls costs through competition, and expands coverage by choice, not coercion.”

But Democrats said Republicans have so far fallen short of their claim to bring up new health care ideas. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) said Republicans asked committees a few years ago to come up with alternatives, but came up with no comprehensive plan….

By Pete Kasperowicz – The Blaze –

House votes to ban taxpayer-funded abortions

The House voted Thursday (Jan. 22) to cement a ban on taxpayer funding for abortion through Obamacare or in other cases, a turnaround bid to save face after Republican leaders were forced to pull a groundbreaking bill that would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The 242-to-179 vote reopened the fight over Obamacare and whether it subsidizes abortions, despite President Obama’s promises that it would not.

But that debate was overshadowed by GOP disunion that forced leaders late Wednesday to scramble for an alternative to their preferred bill, the 20-week ban.

Some Republicans yanked their support for that bill because it required women to have reported instances of rape or incest to be exempted.

The sudden swap disappointed pro-life marchers who descended on Washington Thursday. But they still cheered the replacement bill, as it would put into law a longstanding ban on federal funding for abortion known as the “Hyde amendment.”

Others were not as generous, saying Republicans had retreated from the principles they vowed to defend….

The GOP majority wanted to pass pro-life legislation to recognize the March for Life, an annual event that coincides he anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision establishing a national right to abortion.

The initial bill, titled the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” would have established a national ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy — the time at which the bill declared fetuses are able to feel pain.

The legislation included limited exceptions for pregnancies that were the result of rape or incest or that were necessary to prevent the mother’s life from being endangered. But the rape and incest exceptions only applied to reported cases of those sex crimes.

By Tom Howell Jr. – The Washington Times –

House votes to cancel Obama amnesties

Brushing aside Democrats’ warnings of permanent political doom, House Republicans voted Thursday to cancel President Obama’s deportation amnesties, casting it as an effort to undo a runaway White House untethered either to the Constitution or even to its own words and promises.

In a debate freighted with political, symbolic and constitutional significance, House Speaker John A. Boehner read the 22 times Mr. Obama had denied he had the kinds of executive powers he ended up claiming last year when he announced his new amnesty, which applies to millions of illegal immigrants, granting them tentative legal status and work permits so they can compete legally for jobs.

“We do not take this action lightly, but there is simply no alternative,” Mr. Boehner said from the well of the House. “This is not a dispute between parties, or even branches of government. The president’s overreach is an affront to the rule of law and the Constitution itself.”

Democrats, no less strenuous in their defense of Mr. Obama, accused the GOP of mean-spiritedness and warned that Hispanics will punish Republicans for “malicious” attacks on immigrants in the form of a series of votes to roll back the president’s November amnesty for more than 4 million illegal immigrants and his 2012 amnesty for more than 600,000 illegal immigrant Dreamers, who were the young adults who came to the U.S. as children.

“As a country we’re better than this. Shame on you,” said Rep. Linda Sanchez, chairman of the House Hispanic Caucus.

The vote to cancel the November amnesty was 237-190, with seven Republicans defecting to join Democrats in opposition. The vote to cancel the amnesty for Dreamers was less popular, though it still cleared on a 218-209 vote with 26 Republicans joining all Democrats in opposition.

By Stephen Dinan – The Washington Times –

House votes to block Obama amnesty

House Republicans rebuked President Obama on Thursday over his deportation amnesty, voting chiefly along party lines to approve a bill nullifying the policy and further escalating what has quickly become a full-blown constitutional clash.

The bill is unlikely to go anywhere amid a White House veto threat and a vow by Senate Democrats not to bring it up at all. Nevertheless, the vote presages bigger showdowns next week and early next year over immigration and executive power that could shape the contours of Mr. Obama’s final two years in office.

By Stephen Dinan – The Washington Times –