By Russell Berman - 07/11/13 03:42 PM EDT
The House will vote next week to delay the implementation of both the employer and individual mandate in the healthcare law, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced Thursday.
Republicans are looking to seize on the Obama administration’s decision last week to delay the employer mandate, the requirement that businesses provide healthcare to employees or pay fines.
House Republicans, who have voted more than three dozen times to repeal the 2010 law, view the administration’s announcement as a new opening to press their case that the entire program be scrapped.
In the last week, they have adopted a populist response to the move on the employer mandate, arguing that the White House is punishing individuals while giving businesses a break.
“The president delayed Obamacare’s employer mandate, but he hasn’t delayed the mandate on individuals and families. This is unfair, and it is indefensible,” Boehner added.
“Is it fair for the president to give American businesses an exemption from his health law’s mandates, without giving the same break to the rest of America? Hell no, it’s not fair,” he continued. “Next week the House will vote to delay both the employer and individual mandate. It would be unfair to protect big business from ObamaCare but not individuals and families.”
The administration has defended its decision to delay the employer mandate, saying the move will give businesses more time to comply with the provision.
White House press secretary Jay Carney, however, insisted earlier this week that the rest of the president's landmark domestic legislation would be implemented as scheduled, saying that ObamaCare was "moving forward."
Earlier this week, House Republican leaders also wrote to President Obama demanding his justification for deciding to delay the employer mandate as well as estimates from congressional auditors about changes to the cost of the healthcare reforms.