Hoyer on CR Defunding Obamacare: ‘Blatant Act of Hostage-Taking’

By Melanie Arter | September 20, 2013 | 1:11 PM EDT

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – Speaking on the House floor on Friday, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) called the bill to defund Obamacare and fund all of the federal government “a blatant act of hostage-taking.”

“Today we are considering a measure to fund government only if the Democratic Senate and Democratic president will agree to dismantle the health care reform law that will help millions of Americans access quality affordable care. That isn’t going to happen, and it is a blatant act of hostage-taking,” Hoyer said.

Hoyer’s remarks were made before the House voted 230-189 to approve the CR at current sequester levels of $986.3 billion from Sept. 30 – the last day of the federal fiscal year - through Dec. 15.

Congress must enact a new law to allow the administration to spend money after that date. Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7 of the Constitution says: "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law." For a bill authorizing spending from the Treasury to become law, it must be approved by the House of Representatives, and the Senate, and signed by the president.

“The Republican CR also lays the groundwork for a default on our debt, an unthinkable act, by instituting a pay China-first provision. And it fully embraces the dangerous and irrational policy of sequester,” Hoyer said.

“This bill enshrines and confirms the dissent into an economy-destroying, national security-undermining and ineffective rendering of the government that our country and our people need,” he said, adding that the GOP has a “destructive obsession” with repealing Obamacare and “unrestrained hostility towards government.”