"This Congress, the 112th, is focused on reining in spending and reducing our deficit," Gingrey said. "We could not do the job of the American people and make the spending cuts necessary unless the legislative branch has oversight over federal spending. If this is truly the people's House, give back what the last Congress gave away: control over the budget."

Democrats dismissed the bill as the latest Republican attempt to defund PPACA.

"It's another one of those efforts that Republicans have been putting up to chip away at healthcare reform," House Energy and Commerce Committee ranking member Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said. "They want to repeal it, they want chip away at it, but we don't even know what they want to replace it with."

At about 3:30 p.m., House members began debating a series of amendments to the bill, most of which were offered by Democrats and would require some form of study on how scaling back the program would affect the supply of primary-care physicians in the United States.