The House voted 230-189 to defund Obamacare in the Continuing Resolution (CR) on Friday morning, a move that puts the ball for a government shutdown in Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)’s court.
“The legislation would fund federal agencies at an annualized rate of more than $986 billion but would also leave in place automatic spending cuts known as sequestration, set to take effect in January,” the Washington Post reported. “It would include language to prohibit any funding going to implementing the health-care law and, additionally, authorize the Treasury to pay some bills and not others in the event that no deal is reached in October on increasing the debt limit.”
The chief sponsor of the bill, Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA), said in a statement that the focus now turns to Reid. Reid needs to determine whether he wants to shut the government down, Graves said.
“Now, senators must prepare for the most important vote of their careers,” Graves said. “Will they listen to the American people, or will they impose Obamacare on a country that desperately wants relief from the law?”
“Will the people of Arkansas be heard, or ignored? Will the people of North Carolina be stuck with fewer hours and jobs, or will the Senate act to protect them? Will part-time workers in Louisiana suffer, or be saved from Obamacare?” Graves asked. “Senate Democrats now have to choose whether to fight for their constituents or follow Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV).”
House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), who is now helping lead the fight to defund Obamacare, has called on the Senate to take up the bill. “[T]his fight will move over to the Senate – where it belongs,” Boehner said in a statement on Thursday before the vote. “I expect my Senate colleagues to be up for the battle.”