House to vote on blocking IRS enforcement of ObamaCare

The House next week will vote on and likely pass legislation that would prevent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from implementing any portion of ObamaCare.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said the legislation would be one of several bills up next week aimed at "stopping government abuse and protecting the middle class."

"When federal bureaucrats abuse their power and waste taxpayer dollars, liberty is eroded, the economy is slowed, and the rule of law betrayed," Cantor said on the House floor Thursday.

The bill up next week is H.R. 2009, the Keep the IRS Off Your Healthcare Act. Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) introduced this bill back in May, after it was revealed that the IRS was applying extra scrutiny to conservative groups that were applying for tax-exempt status.

ADVERTISEMENT
"The same agency that just committed an appalling violation of the American people’s trust is going to be at the forefront of enforcing the health care law, including the individual mandate which will require every citizen to prove to this agency that they've purchased government-dictated health care coverage," Price said in May.

"When it comes to an individual's personal health care decisions, no American should be required to answer to the IRS, an agency that just forfeited its claim to a reputation of impartiality," he added. "It has always been an untenable and unacceptable scenario, and we ought to take this common sense step to take the IRS out of health care."

Cantor said the House would also take up a new version of the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act. This bill, H.R. 367, would require Congress to approve any federal regulation that has an economic impact of more than $100 million.

Votes on these bills come just as President Obama has said he would focus on jobs and the economy for the next several weeks. Republicans immediately criticized Obama for offering only speeches on jobs, and said the House has been passing legislation aimed at boosting job creation that Democrats have ignored.

Earlier in the day, the House passed legislation that would give states more control over how to regulate coal ash, a by-product of burning coal. GOP supporters said this bill would create jobs, and after the vote, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) highlighted the bill as an example of a real jobs bill.

"We're not just talking about jobs, we're passing legislation that will help protect and create new ones," Boehner said.

Cantor also noted that the House has passed bills on education and energy that Democrats have ignored.

"The President, if he wanted to help the middle class families, instead of off campaigning again giving the speeches, he could come and call up Harry Reid in the Senate and say bring that bill to the floor," he said.

"All we hear from the other side is what we can and can't do politically here in Washington."

Once again revealing the depth of disagreement between the two parties, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said those GOP bills will go nowhere in large part because they are partisan bills without any Democratic input.

"All those bills have something in common — do it my way, or no way," Hoyer said.

More in House

GOP chairman bungles ObamaCare math

Read more »