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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Srebrenica Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs countermeasure at UN More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prisoni
X
Heather Murdock
July 01, 2015 8:59 PM
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 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 US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of 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 Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
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.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs