The Obama administration in October found that there is no viable financial path forward for the program, as it would rely on voluntary participation and could not receive taxpayer funds. Republicans argued today that the program should therefore be repealed, and said they favor this approach because failing to implement a program that is still on the books could lead to legal challenges.
Democrats rejected these arguments, and said the program should remain and somehow be fixed, although none offered proposals for doing so during floor debate.
Regardless, the bill is likely the latest Republican proposal to be passed by the House that is likely to be ignored by the Senate. The Obama administration has said the program should not be struck down just because officials have not found a way forward for the program at this time.
After debating the bill and four amendments, several House Democrats took to the floor to speak against the bill, and more generally, to argue against the House GOP legislative agenda. The House rejected all four amendments, which were from:
Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), to prevent the repeal of the CLASS program until more studies are done. Rejected 161-263.
Jackson Lee, to prevent the repeal of the CLASS program until the government certifies that 60 percent of people aged 25 years and up have private long-term care insurance. Rejected 157-264.
Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), to prevent the repeal of CLASS until 90 days after the government certifies that failing to implement the program will not increase state or federal spending for long-term care. Rejected 164-260.
Deutch, to require the government to provide more information to Congress before CLASS can be repealed. Rejected 160-264.