News / USA

House OKs Funding Bill Opposed by Obama

Birds fly past the U.S. Capitol as the sun rises in Washington, D.C., Sept. 9, 2013.
Birds fly past the U.S. Capitol as the sun rises in Washington, D.C., Sept. 9, 2013.
Cindy Saine
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives has passed a resolution to keep funding the U.S. government, but it also defunds President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.  The vote was 230 in favor and 189 against. The bill is unlikely to pass in the Democratically-controlled Senate, setting the stage for another high stakes budget battle just 10 days ahead of a potential government shutdown.

The vote in the House adhered mainly to party lines, with only two Democrats joining with 228 Republicans to vote for it, and only one Republican joining with 188 Democrats to vote against it.  The temporary spending bill would continue funding the government through mid-December, but would also withhold funding for the Affordable Care Act, the health care law most Republican lawmakers strongly oppose and refer to as 'Obamacare.' 

This was the 42nd time House Republicans have voted to repeal the health care law, which has virtually no chance of passing in the Democratic-led Senate. 

House Majority leader Eric Cantor expressed Republican feared that the law would hurt the economy. “Let’s defund this law now, and protect the American people from the economic calamity that we know Obamacare will create,” he said.

A number of Democratic lawmakers expressed dismay that Congress again found itself in a high stakes battle that could lead to a government shutdown.  Democratic Representative John Lewis of Georgia said that Republicans needed to give up the ideological fight against the president's health care law.

“Madame Speaker, the voters have spoken.  The Supreme Court has ruled.  The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land.  It is constitutional,” he said.

The Senate is expected to move quickly next week to strip the health care defunding provision from the bill, and the White House has made clear that the president would veto it if it ever reached his desk. 

Democratic House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi said that House leaders knew their bill was doomed to fail, and that they were playing with fire.

“But what is brought to the floor today, is without a doubt, a measure designed to shut down government.  It could have no other intent,” she said.

Budget expert Stan Collender said if there were a partial government shutdown, Republicans would likely pay a price.

"All of the polls that we have seen in recent weeks, show that the Republicans, particularly the House Republicans, but Republicans in general will be blamed if there is a government shutdown," said Collender.

The drama over passing a funding bill is likely to be followed by another battle to the brink over raising the debt ceiling, expected around mid-October.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs