The GOP-led House voted today to block funding to implement the nation’s health care law.
The action came on several amendments to a must-pass spending bill that would pay for government operations from March through September.
Specifically, the House voted to prohibit any funds be used by the Internal Revenue Service to carry out the law’s mandate that Americans buy health insurance. The individual mandate, one of the law’s key tenets, has been struck down by federal courts.
The House also adopted an amendment by Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., to bar the Labor and Health and Human Services Departments from spending any money for the rest of fiscal year 2011 on the health care law. Still another provision adopted today would ban the government from paying the salaries of any federal employee involved in implementing the health care law.
Senate Democrats, who blocked a GOP effort last month to repeal the health care law, will try to remove these provisions when the spending bill goes to their chamber after the Presidents Day recess. President Obama has vowed to veto the House bill, which seeks to cut at $61 billion in federal spending for this year.
The tension over federal spending has led to a pitched battle over a possible government shutdown if Congress and Obama cannot agree to spending levels for the rest of 2011.
In other action, the House also voted to take away funding from Planned Parenthood. A bid to stop the Pentagon fromsponsoring NASCAR race teams failed.
Our original post begins after the jump:
The House is beginning its fourth day of trying to write a budget for the rest of this year with a debate on blocking funding for the health care law.
At issue is a proposal by Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., who is trying to block any funds for the Health and Human Services and Labor Departments from being used to implement the law.
Unlike the GOP’s failed efforts to repeal the law, the attempt by Rehberg to block funding is part of a must-pass spending bill tokeep the government running past March 4.
The back-and-forth over spending levels for the rest of this year has added to the politically charged atmosphere over a possible government shutdown. President Obama has vowed to veto the House version of the spending bill.
Rehberg, who is also running for U.S. Senate, has vowed the House GOP majority will defund the health care law “one piece at a time.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., shot back at Republicans for trying to overturn the law and take away more funding for prescription drugs for seniors, insurance coverage for young people under 26 and protection for people with pre-existing conditions.
“This is yet again another example of our friends standing up for insurance companies at the expense of the American people,” she said.
The health care law, which would require Americans to obtain insurance coverage, was signed last year by President Obama. Republicans made repeal of what they call “Obamacare” their rallying cry in the 2010 elections.
The resolution that currently funds the government expires on March 4.