ObamaCare Repeal Vote Next Week, Bill to De-Fund Abortion Soon

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 3, 2011   |   11:53AM   |   Washington, DC

House Republicans will vote next week to repeal the ObamaCare law that allows abortion-funding and promotes rationing — drawing opposition from pro-life quarters.

Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor announced today that the bill will be posted on the Internet on Monday night, the Rules Committee will meet Thursday to prepare it, and the rules for debate will be considered and receive a vote on Friday. Then, the vote will take place Wednesday, January 12.

“Obamacare is a job killer for businesses small and large, and the top priority for House Republicans is going to be to cut spending and grow the economy and jobs,” Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring said in a statement. “Further, ObamaCare failed to lower costs as the president promised that it would and does not allow people to keep the care they currently have if they like it. That is why the House will repeal it next week.”

Prior to today’s announcement, the new Republican chairman of the panel responsible for starting action on repealing the abortion-funding ObamaCare law says a vote will take place soon.

Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan, incoming chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said yesterday that a vote on the repeal legislation and a companion bill to ensure there is no abortion funding under ObamaCare, will take place before President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address later this month.

“As part of our pledge, we said that we would bring up a vote to repeal healthcare early,” Upton told “Fox News Sunday,” adding, “That will happen before the president’s State of the Union address.”

“We have 242 Republicans,” he said. “There will be a significant number of Democrats, I think, that will join us. You will remember when that vote passed in the House last March, it only passed by seven votes.”

The House convenes on Wednesday and Republicans are expected to move ahead quickly to hearings on the repeal legislation.

Upton said Republicans would be unified in support of the repeal measure and he counted on votes from the few Democrats who voted against ObamaCare when pro-abortion Speaker Nancy Pelosi controlled the House before voters replaced her with pro-life Speaker John Boehner.

“I don’t think we’re going to be that far off from having the votes to actually override a veto,” he said.

But getting the repeal bill through the Senate will be another matter as pro-abortion Senate Leader Harry Reid and pro-abortion Democrats control the chamber and will not likely bring up the legislation for a vote. That means Republicans will have to try to attach the repeal legislation to another bill or use filibuster tactics to force a vote in the Senate.

Upton told the Fox News program he thinks a strong vote count — with a potential veto-proof majority — will “put enormous pressure on the Senate to do the same thing.”

After the repeal bill is passed, Upton said Republicans would work on dismantling ObamaCare piece by piece with bills unrelated to the abortion issue but also legislation that would implement a ban on any taxpayer funding of abortions under the law and protecting the conscience rights of medical professionals who don’t want to participate in abortions.

“We are going to take up early the Pitts-Stupak language ‘no funds shall be spent on abortion’ as a separate bill early on. We will look at these individual pieces to see if we can’t have the thing crumble,” he said.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, a pro-life congresswoman from Minnesota and a leading conservative, appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” to discuss the repeal effort.

“The more the people learn about Obamacare, the less they like it,” she said. “It’s very costly; it’s unwieldy. So we will put forth a clean repeal bill of Obamacare. And you’ll continue to see us make that fight because that’s what the American people want us to do.”

“It’s important that we repeal Obamacare as soon as possible because it is already harming the economy and killing jobs. Employers are seeing their costs for providing health insurance skyrocket, and that’s causing them to hold off on hiring and job creation,’ she added.

“Many of the incoming Republican congressmen campaigned on the platform that included repealing Obamacare,” added pro-life Representative Doug Lamborn, Republican of Colorado. “This was the biggest mistake made by the 111th Congress.”

Democrats are expected to push back strongly and to try to emphasize portions of the government takeover of health care that they think will resonate with the public and paint repeal efforts as Republicans and pro-life advocates wanting to hurt Americans.

When Congress passed the government-run health care bill, it did so without any limits on abortion funding and language mandating taxpayer financing of abortion in certain circumstances.

Obama eventually issued a controversial executive order supposedly taking the abortion funding issue off the table.

However, virtually every pro-life group said it would not mitigate the abortion funding because it doesn’t have the effect of law, could be reversed in the future, and because it didn’t tackle much of the abortion funding in the bill. The Obama administration could also ignore the order and not put it in place when the health care law goes into effect.

Under the new health care law, states will be in charge of their own health care exchanges that are available for individuals and small businesses.

The exchange doesn’t go into effect until 2014 and states are filing lawsuits seeking to stop the pro-abortion health care bill in its other pro-abortion provisions entirety, but states are moving now to exercise their right to opt out of some of the abortion funding.

Arizona, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana have passed similar bills that have already been signed into law by governors in those states and several other states are expected to consider legislation in their upcoming legislative sessions. Governors in Oklahoma and Florida vetoed similar legislation.