Cantor promises House vote to repeal ObamaCare soon

Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told House Republicans on Friday that they will soon get a chance to vote a full repeal of ObamaCare.

"While we have not locked in the timing, I expect that the House will vote on full repeal of ObamaCare in the near future," he told members in a memo.

Many Republicans have been eager to vote against the 2010 healthcare law, as they did last year. But so far, GOP leaders have refrained from calling up a repeal bill and instead tried to pass a tweak that failed to win enough GOP votes in April.

Last month, the party proposed a bill that would have eliminated what Republicans say is a "slush fund" within the law and used that money to fund an insurance program for people with pre-existing conditions. But leaders ended up pulling the bill after it became clear that many conservatives were on the fence about propping up the insurance plan.

In a memo, Cantor said he expects a "full legislative agenda" in May, which he said would also include a GOP bill to keep federally subsidized student loan interest rates at 3.4 percent. Last year, Congress kept those rates — scheduled to rise to 6.8 percent this summer — at the lower level, but only for one year.

"In light of this, Chairman Kline and the Education and Workforce Committee will produce a bill to replace the legislatively fixed interest rate with an interest rate tied to market rates for federal borrowing," Cantor wrote. "In the near-term this is expected to provide an interest rate lower than the 6.8% fixed in law and over the long-term provide savings for taxpayers.

"This bill takes Congress and politics out of setting interest rates and provides a long-term fix to the interest rate cliffs initiated in 2007."

On other issues, Cantor said the House would also work in May on a proposal to help fund pediatric disease research. That bill is H.R. 1724, the Kids First Research Act.

A range of other issues are also expected, including more House pressure on the Obama administration to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

"We will push the administration to finally approve the Keystone pipeline delivering much needed jobs and lower energy prices for families," he wrote. "We will ensure that working moms and dads in the private sector have the same freedoms and flexibility currently offered government employees.

"We will reform our student loan process and hold the [Securities and Exchange Commission] accountable so that business can be assured of more certainty and less red tape."

The Keystone pipeline bill is H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act, from Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.), which would grant approval for the northern portion of the pipeline that would cross into Canada. The SEC bill is H.R. 1062, the SEC Regulatory Accountability Act, which would require the SEC to run cost-benefit analyses on regulations.

The bill on workplace flexibility — the Working Families Flexibility Act — is expected to come up next week. It would give private sector workers the option of using overtime hours for time off instead of getting overtime pay.

The Full Faith and Credit Act, H.R. 807, will also come up this week. That bill, which Republicans overhauled last month, would allow the government to continue borrowing money to make interest payments on the debt, and help pay interest costs associated with the Social Security Trust Fund.

Over the summer, Cantor said the House would start the annual appropriations process, and a farm bill.

— Updated at 1:27 p.m.

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