House Republicans are maintaining their position on ObamaCare and are launching what is dubbed a “two-front war” on the healthcare law. One week after the House passed a bill that defunds ObamaCare, they are attempting to take a vote this Saturday on a bill that would delay the healthcare law for one year in exchange for agreeing to raise the debt ceiling. The bill also covers several other issues, including approval of the Keystone pipeline and tax reform.
"I think we ought to really force the effort to delay this individual mandate for at least a year, just as the president unilaterally decided to delay the employer mandate," Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) told Fox News, though he wants to achieve the delay through the budget bill.
"I think it's very important to give American people the same relief that the president unilaterally decided to give to others," he added.
Meanwhile, the Senate voted on Wednesday to advance the bill to keep the government open past September 30 in exchange for defunding the healthcare law. Democrats are expected to strip the ObamaCare measure from the bill, however, and send it back to the House for another vote.
As noted by Fox News, this will put Republicans in a delicate position:
They could continue to push for anti-ObamaCare provisions in the budget bill. This, though, risks a government shutdown on Oct. 1, as Democrats refuse to go along with any budget bill that defunds the health law. GOP leaders are also exploring adding face-saving options — like the repeal of a tax on medical devices, which many Democrats also oppose — to the stopgap spending bill.
But as an alternative path, Republicans could simply pass a “clean” budget bill, and immediately shift their attention to the fight over the debt ceiling — using that as leverage to push for a one-year delay of the health law.
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