WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. House today passed the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act, a budget reconciliation measure that dismantles the pillars of Obamacare, while shifting taxpayer funds away from abortion providers and investing instead in community health centers that provide women with quality health care. Speaking on the House floor just before passage, Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) called the bill “a critical step to restoring jobs and good health care across this country.”
As Roll Call reported last month, Scalise led the way in “putting a new option on the table… [of] using budget reconciliation — a fast-track process that would allow Republicans to bypass the threat of a filibuster and force a bill through the Senate — to zero out federal dollars for Planned Parenthood,” an option seen as “especially appealing to congressional Republicans” eager to bring these important legislative priorities to the President’s desk. Notably, the paper reported that “Scalise said defunding Planned Parenthood through reconciliation would not preclude that same bill from also repealing Obamacare.”
Key conservative groups voiced their strong support to the Scalise approach, including the Family Research Council (FRC), National Right to Life, Susan B. Anthony List, March for Life, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), Americans for Prosperity (AFP), and the National Taxpayers Union (NTU).
TRANSCRIPT OF SCALISE’S FLOOR REMARKS:
“Mr. Speaker, to send a bill to the President—but this time not just to send a bill to the Senate that actually goes after and guts the President’s health care law, but also a bill that now with 51 votes in the Senate will have the opportunity to get to the President’s desk. And the bill not only repeals the employer mandate, repeals the individual mandate—laws that are crushing jobs across the country, killing middle class jobs. The biggest reason, when you talk to small business owners, why they can’t hire more people, why they’re forced by this law to lower the number of working hours of people across the country down below 30 hours, is because of these mandates in the law that are crushing American jobs. Why not put that bill on the President’s desk? Why not also tell these people that are taking taxpayer money and providing abortion services that you can’t do it anymore? If you want to provide women’s health care, there’s funding for you but you can’t use taxpayer money to provide abortions. That’s in this bill that can get to the President’s desk. Even more than that, it goes further. We start cutting taxes that are killing jobs in this bill—the medical device tax that’s shipping jobs to foreign countries. Let’s cut those taxes. And if the Senate wants to go further under their arcane rules, they’ll have that opportunity. We support those changes as well. But ultimately let’s get this bill to the President’s desk and let him make a decision. Is he going to finally stand up for American workers and sign this bill? Or is he going to continue to support a law that’s destroying jobs and destroying health care in this country? That ought to be the President’s burden. We ought to send the bill to the President. This is the first step—and it’s a critical step to restoring jobs and good health care across this country. Let’s pass this bill, send it over to the Senate and let them do their work. I yield back.”
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