Boehner Won't Really Defund Obamacare: Goal 'Is Not to Shut Down the Gov't'

Susan Jones | September 10, 2013 | 12:15pm EDT
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( - The only real chance of blocking Obamacare is for Congress to pass a continuing resolution that deprives it of money, even though a government shutdown would be the likely result.

But that appears to be a step too far for some Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

"Listen, our goal here is not to shut down the government," Boehner told reporters on Tuesday. "Our goal is to cut spending and to stop Obamacare. And I believe that the strategy that was outlined to members this morning accomplishes that."

Press reports say the Republican strategy calls for the House to pass a continuing resolution that funds Obamacare, as well as a separate measure that would amend the CR to defund Obamacare. The Democrat-led Senate, however, would never pass the second resolution. Yet House Republicans could claim they did pass a measure to defund Obamacare.

Boehner noted that the House has voted 40 times to defund or repeal Obamacare. The current strategy, he said, "is intended not to really satisfy the House -- we've already voted. It's to force the vote and force the fight in the United States Senate. That's where the issue is -- the United States senate. Let's get the issue over there and force them to actually have a vote on getting rid of Obamacare."

In his prepared remarks, before taking questions, Boehner promised to "do everything we can to protect Americans from this harmful health care law."

He said the House will vote Wednesday on legislation that would require an income-verification system to be in place before people can get tax credits to pay for health insurance on the new exchanges.

“We know the president’s health care law is driving up costs, it’s making it harder for small businesses to hire new workers," Boehner said.

"Tomorrow we’ll vote on Congresswoman (Diane) Black’s bill that would require a verification for those who would be eligible for a voucher at one of these exchanges.  The idea that you can go to one of these exchanges and just promise, ‘This is what I made last year,’ is problematic.  Our job is to spend the American people’s tax money wisely, and I believe that this (lack of income verification) will lead to an awful lot of abuse and it really should not occur.

“We’re going to continue to do everything we can to protect Americans from this harmful health care law," Boehner said. "This is not good for the country, it’s not good for the health care system.  It will bankrupt us, and ruin the best health care delivery system the world has ever known.”

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