Alabama lawmakers back bill to defund ObamaCare

Published 5:37 pm Friday, September 20, 2013

Alabama lawmakers are supporting legislation to wipe out the three-year-old health care law that President Barack Obama hoped to preserve.

The Republican-controlled House approved legislation Friday that would nix the health care law while preventing a partial government shutdown.

Friday morning, U.S. Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) posted a Facebook message that read, “I just voted to defund ObamaCare and keep the government open. The bill passed 230-189. Now the #SenateMustAct.”

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Comments under the Alabama lawmaker’s posting were mixed with some responders applauding her vote and others noting they felt by attaching the ObamaCare provision to the issue of government shutdown, Roby did a disservice to her constituents.

U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said Friday he plans to back the legislation in the Senate.

“I support efforts to defund the President’s health law. It is past time that Congress deal with ObamaCare,” Sessions said. “I reject the idea that we can’t use the CR or the debt ceiling to try and stop it.”

Sessions said he believes lawmakers should use every tool at their disposal to address ObamaCare and work toward its repeal and replacement.

Friday’s House vote was almost completely along party lines. All Republicans voted in favor of the legislation. Among Democrats, only representatives from North Carolina and Utah backed the Republican-led measure.

The likelihood of the legislation passing the Senate is slim, though. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said there were enough Senate votes to keep the government open and the health care law in existence. He accused Republicans of attempting “to take an entire law hostage simply to appease the tea party anarchists.”

Realistically, it looks as if the Senate will strip off the provision to defund the health care law and send a bill back to the House with the sole purpose of preventing government interruption on Oct. 1. The Associated Press contributed to this story.