House votes 240-182 to approve rule covering healthcare repeal

The House approved a rule governing debate for the Republicans' Repeal of Obamacare Act on Tuesday.

Members voted 240-182 in favor of the rule, which sets up five hours of debate that will take place Tuesday and Wednesday.

ADVERTISEMENT
Democrats strongly oppose the bill, a sentiment reflected in the rule vote. Only four Democrats supported the rule, and every voting Republicans favored it.

Democrats voting for the rule were Reps. Dan Boren (Okla.), Larry Kissell (N.C.), Mike McIntyre (N.C.) and Mike Ross (Ark.).

The vote came after a debate that seemed to raise the question of why five hours of debate is needed at all. 

Democrats reiterated their arguments that the repeal bill, H.R. 6079, will go nowhere after the House, and that the House is therefore wasting its time. They also noted the repeated attempts Republicans have previously made to repeal all or part of the bill.

"Never in the history of this Congress ... has anybody voted this many times on a single issue," Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) said on the House floor. "And why? Because we don't have anything else to do."

"We're not trying to make law here, we're making political points."

But Republicans insisted that repeal is needed because people are losing access to their company-sponsored health plans as companies react to the 2010 healthcare reform law, and that the cost of that law is double what Democrats advertised two years ago. Reacting to the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of the law also seemed foremost in the minds of Republicans.

"I respect their decision, and there's nothing we can do to change that," Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) said. "ObamaCare is now the official law of the land.

"However, there is something this body can do to reverse the course and to prevent the job-destroying aspects of this bill from taking effect: a complete repeal of the bill."

— The headline of this story was corrected at 3:31 p.m. to reflect the correct vote: 240-182.

More in House

House approves new savings accounts for people with disabilities

Read more »