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Saturday, February 19, 2011

House Passes Budget Bill To Fund Government With Amendments To Defund Obamacare

The House of Representatives passed a stopgap budget measure to continue funding government for the rest of the fiscal year with a vote of 235 to 189.

This included over $60 billion in spending cuts, the single largest spending cut in modern history.

It feel short of the $100 billion in spending cuts Republicans attempted to get passed, but a portion of the year's spending levels was already set with the previously passed stopgap measure from Democrats back in December, currently set to expire March 4, 2011..

NYT reports:

The House early Saturday approved a huge package of spending cuts, slashing more than $60 billion from domestic programs, foreign aid, and even some military projects, as the new Republican majority made good on its pledge to turn the grassroots fervor of the November elections into legislative action to shrink the size and scope of government.

House Republicans have been busy and have passed amendments in that bill that prevents funding for Obamacare aka Affordable Care Act that was passed last March through a party line votes from a Democratically controlled Congress and Senate.

The three amendments the House passed today are:

—an amendment from health appropriations subcommittee Chair Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) blocks 2011 funding for the health and labor departments to implement the healthcare reform law;

—an amendment from Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) blocks all federal funding for the law; and

—an amendment from Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) bars the Internal Revenue Service from using funds to enforce the law's individual mandate requiring Americans to have insurance by 2014. Two federal courts have ruled that the mandate is unconstitutional. (Source)

The Senate which is still Democratically controlled will try to add the funding for Obamacare back into the bill, which will lead to a showdown as Republicans have made it clear they will not back down on defunding Obamacare since the repeal measure they passed through the House of Representatives never passed in the Senate.

With 23 Senate Democrats up for reelection in 2012 and Obamacare still opposed by the majority of Americans, should the vote be allowed for the bill as passed down to the Senate, it is more than just possible for some vulnerable Democrats to cross party lines and vote for defunding Obamacare.

Should they do that, Obama would have to veto it or see his signature legislation fail due to lack of funds to implement it.

If Democrats force a government shutdown because they refuse to pass the stopgap budget bill which would allow government to continue to be funded after the Continuing Resolution (CR) presently funding government expires in March, expect a highly public campaign by Republicans to show they passed the CR and Senate Democrats and/or Barack Obama stalled it.

Political pundits aside, what I saw this morning is what every day American voters are seeing.

Each and every news channel I turned on, despite any spin, announced the Republican controlled House of Representatives passed a budget, which will fund government until the next fiscal year as well as providing over 60 billion in spending cuts.

Those same American voters also know the House is controlled by Republicans, the Senate controlled by Democrats and the White House resident is a Democrat.

That is what people that do not follow politics closely know and are seeing today.

What they see next is up to Harry Reid, but if government shuts down because the Senate or Obama won't pass the CR, who do you think they will blame come November 2012?