President Obama announced today that he vetoed legislation sent to his desk from the Republican led Congress that would repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood.
House speaker Paul Ryan explained that it was an important step for Republicans to show voters that they could come together on a bill offering an alternative to Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood.
As expected, the House effort led to a swift veto from the president.
“Because of the harm this bill would cause to the health and financial security of millions of Americans, it has earned my veto,” Obama said in a letter to the U.S. Congress addressed today that argued in favor of keeping the controversial health care program.
He also lectured Congress for repeatedly repealing Obamacare – knowing that he would veto it.
“Republicans in the Congress have attempted to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act over 50 times,” he said, urging them to stop “refighting old political battles” and focus on economic issues.
Ryan and other Congressional leaders argued that the latest effort was the first time that both a Republican led House of Representatives and a Senate could get a bill repealing Obamacare to the president’s desk.
In response to the veto, Ryan indicated that he was not surprised, but that it was an important step forward.
“We have now shown that there is a clear path to repealing Obamacare without 60 votes in the Senate. So, next year, if we’re sending this bill to a Republican president, it will get signed into law,” he said in a statement.
But the White House was dismissive of their efforts. There was no veto ceremony or press coverage, as Obama signed it behind closed doors. When asked by reporters yesterday if the effort by Congressional Republicans was inconvenient for the president, White House press secretary Josh Earnest denied it.
“Not at all. Stroke of a pen,” he said.