US House votes to temporarily fund the government while defunding Affordable Care Act

09/20/13 AP
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The GOP-controlled House voted Friday to cripple President Barack Obama's health care law as part of a risky ploy that threatens a government shutdown in a week and a half.

The fight is coming on a stopgap funding measure required to keep the government fully running after the October 1st start of the new budget year. Typically, such measures advance with sweeping bipartisan support, but tea party activists forced GOP leaders — against their better judgment — to add a provision to cripple the health care law that's the signature accomplishment of Obama's first term.

Jacksonville Republican Ander Crenshaw voted to defund the Affordable Care Act.

The 230-to-189 vote sets the stage for a confrontation with the Democratic-led Senate, which promises to strip the health care provision from the bill next week and challenge the House to pass it as a simple, straightforward funding bill that President Barack Obama will sign.

Republican House members, like Cathy McMorris Rodgers from Washington, celebrated after the vote.

But the top Senate Democrat has pronounced the bill dead and calls the House exercise a waste of time. The White House promises Obama will veto the measure in the unlikely event it reaches his desk.

Back in the House, before the vote, District of Colombia Delegate Elanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat whose district relies heavily on federal funding, cautioned against the Continuing Resolution.

"All of us are trying to keep the government open yet the federal government at the moment is engaged in contingency plans in case of a shutdown. So is the District of Columbia because it's budget is here. This local budget, this balanced $8 billion in local funds, right here, because the Congress requires it to come and hasn't freed the DC budget. 3,000 hours and $131,000 is what it cost us in 2011 to prepare for a shutdown. When Speaker Newt Gingrich was the Speaker of the House he worked with me to keep the District of Columbia open even as the federal government closed down because one thing is clear; the only thing worse than closing down the United States government is closing down an innocent bystander with not a dime in this fight, the capitol city of the United States. Free the budget of the District of Columbia, don't close down the nation's capital."

Tampa Bay area member of the House, Democrat Kathy Castor, also voted against the continuing resolution. She released a statement that read in part, Republicans acted today to continue to cut researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center, educate fewer students in Head Start, furlough mental health counselors at MacDill Air Force Base, stress the federal courts and law enforcement, and squeeze Meals on Wheels.

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