The Republican-controlled House approved a spending bill that will keep the government running through the middle of December while also defunding the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s health care reform law.
The legislative maneuver would prevent a government shutdown set to occur in 10 days, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called the House vote a "waste of time” and the White House has issued a veto threat.
The Democratic-controlled Senate still plans take up the bill next week just to restore funding for the Affordable Care Act and send it right back to the House.
The latest effort to repeal the health care law has sparked the game of legislative hot potato.
Passing legislation to keep the government operating at the start of a new fiscal year is often a routine measure that garners broad bipartisan support.
This vote was different because tea party conservatives in the House bent on repealing the Affordable Care Act insisted that House Speaker John Boehner attach language that would cripple the health care law.
This bill passed the House 230 to 189, with only two Democrats voting for it.
Minnesota’s House delegation split along party lines on the measure; Republicans supported it and Democrats voted against the bill.
“Today the House of Representatives listened to the will of the American people and voted to keep the government open while defunding Obamacare,” Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann said in a statement.
“The President’s health care law is hurting economic growth, causing cutbacks in jobs and hours, and jacking up insurance premiums. We must save the American people from these disastrous consequences of Obamacare while still keeping the government open.”
The enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act begins Oct. 1, the same day a government shutdown would take effect. A potential shutdown is not expected to imperil the rollout.
In an email sent to supporters Thursday, Democratic U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan denounced the vote as “temper tantrum fit for toddlers not elected officials.”
“House Republicans are willing to cut off vital services that millions of Americans rely on – just to appease the extreme Tea Partiers,” Nolan’s note read.
Republican U.S. Rep. John Kline issued a statement saying he was “pleased to support legislation to keep the government running while fully defunding Obamacare. An overwhelming majority of constituents keep sharing with me the devastating affects Obamacare will have on their families and they should be protected from the harmful effects of this ill-conceived law.”
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the campaign arm of House Democrats, criticized Kline and Paulsen’s votes.
The House Majority PAC, a political action committee formed to help Democrats win back the majority in the U.S. House, also condemned Kline’s vote.
“Instead of pursuing a reasonable path, John Kline chose to throw down with the Tea Party to the detriment of his constituents in Minnesota,” said Andy Stone, communications director for the political action committee.