Vitter demands vote to end 'Washington exemption from ObamaCare'

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“My amendment is not related to this bill but I have to bring it up now because it’s very time sensitive since it will go into effect on Oct. 1,” Vitter said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “I think this is a special exemption for Washington.”

Last month, the Office of Management and Personnel (OMP) issued a ruling on ObamaCare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, to allow congressional staff members to continue to receive subsidized healthcare coverage.

Vitter said the OMP does not have the “statutory authority” to make that ruling. His amendment would prevent members of Congress from exempting any of their staff from entering the ObamaCare health exchanges, require all executive branch appointees to participate in the healthcare exchanges and end subsidies for congressional staff to pay for insurance.

Several senators came to the floor to speak about their noncontroversial bipartisan amendments, but they were prevented from making them pending because of Vitter’s objection.

“I think it’s a shame that we can’t get going with this bipartisan bill,” Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) said.

The Senate is now considering the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act from Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio). S. 1392 contains measures to boost building codes, train workers in energy efficient building technologies, help manufacturers become more efficient and bolster conservation efforts at federal agencies, among other provisions. 

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