House Republicans Boast About Bevy of Anti-Obamacare Votes

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) holds up an iPad while introducing the party's new "America Speaking Out" campaign at the Newseum May 25, 2010 in Washington, DC. The GOP leaders said the campaign aims to "engage Americans across the country and give them a voice in creating a new agenda for Congress."
National Journal
Jan. 27, 2014, 7:14 a.m.

On the eve of Pres­id­ent Obama’s State of the Uni­on ad­dress, a top House GOP lead­er has cir­cu­lated a re­mind­er to boast of how many times the cham­ber’s Re­pub­lic­ans held floor votes to re­peal, de­fund, or dis­mantle the Af­ford­able Care Act.

And the mes­sage sent out by Ma­jor­ity Whip Kev­in Mc­Carthy’s of­fice in­dic­ates there will be no let up on such le­gis­lat­ive as­saults on Obama­care this elec­tion year, as Re­pub­lic­ans be­lieve some Demo­crats are feel­ing polit­ic­al heat with such votes.

“It is ex­pec­ted that the pres­id­ent will use the State of the Uni­on to­mor­row night to make a strong de­fense of Obama­care,” states the memo. “What the pres­id­ent prob­ably won’t men­tion is the astound­ing num­ber of de­fec­tions he and House Demo­crat­ic lead­er­ship have faced in this Con­gress on Obama­care-re­lated votes.”

The memo un­der­scores that “to date, the House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives has voted 14 times in the 113th Con­gress and 35 times in the 112th Con­gress to re­peal, de­fund, or dis­mantle the law.” And on these votes, states the memo, “House Demo­crats joined with House Re­pub­lic­ans a dozen times, sup­ply­ing 256 votes against the pres­id­ent and their lead­er­ship team.”

It goes on to state that the last three votes all oc­curred after the of­fi­cial Oct. 1 date when Amer­ic­ans could be­gin sign­ing up for Obama­care plans.

“Not co­in­cid­ent­ally, the num­ber of Demo­crat­ic yes votes has in­creased sig­ni­fic­antly — 39, 67, and 33 votes since Oc­to­ber 1. An av­er­age of al­most 47 votes,” the memo states. “This up­ward trend is a re­flec­tion of an ever-in­creas­ing sense of queas­i­ness among House Demo­crats with re­spect to Obama­care. Just something to keep in mind.”

The memo then goes on to take a sort of pride of Re­pub­lic­an own­er­ship in what has already been done re­gard­ing Obama­care. It states that eight Obama­care pro­vi­sions have been re­pealed or have had fund­ing res­cin­ded.

Mean­while, House Demo­crat­ic lead­ers also are warn­ing that voters this fall won’t for­get all the at­ten­tion that Re­pub­lic­ans have con­tin­ued to give to un­do­ing Obama­care—but they say it is some Re­pub­lic­ans who are get­ting elec­tion-year jit­ters over that.

“Those wrong pri­or­it­ies will come back to haunt them in Novem­ber.” de­clared Rep. Steve Is­rael, D-N.Y., chair of the Demo­crat­ic Con­gres­sion­al Cam­paign Com­mit­tee, in an op-ed pub­lished by CNN on Monday.

“A few Re­pub­lic­ans are mak­ing the first mo­tions to run away from this un­pop­u­lar ap­proach and to deny their re­peal-only agenda. They’re hop­ing that voters will think that they’ve woken up and found some com­mon sense—but voters won’t for­get nearly 50 votes, and they won’t for­give them for turn­ing their backs on hard­work­ing people,” Is­rael wrote.

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