Democrats aim to block DOJ funds supporting ObamaCare lawsuit

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Senate Democrats are moving to try to block the Department of Justice (DOJ) from using federal funds to support a lawsuit targeting ObamaCare.

Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that Democrats are offering an amendment to an unrelated disaster relief bill that would prevent the DOJ from spending money on the case, which is being litigated in an appeals court.

{mosads}“The Department of Justice’s decision is a moral and institutional outrage, outrage. Not only would it harm Americans, it would undermine the rule of law,” Schumer said from the Senate floor.

He added that the Democratic amendment would “very simply prohibit the Department of Justice from using any funding to litigate the downfall of the [Affordable Care Act] in the circuit court.”

The amendment, if GOP leaders allow it to come up for a vote, could force Republican senators to go on the record over the administration’s tactics to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The DOJ on Monday said it is siding with a district court ruling that found the ACA unconstitutional, escalating its legal battle against the 2010 law.

The department previously argued in court that the law’s pre-existing condition protections should be struck down. Now, the Trump administration argues the entire law should be invalidated.

President Trump on Wednesday pledged the Republican Party would have a “far better” health care proposal than the ACA if the Obama-era law is thrown out by the courts.

“If the Supreme Court rules that ObamaCare is out, we’ll have a plan that is far better than ObamaCare,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled in December that the ACA’s individual mandate is unconstitutional and that the rest of law is therefore invalid.

Democrats have seized on the decision, predicting it could have swift political backlash for GOP lawmakers who were squeezed during the midterms about if they supported Trump’s health care tactics.

Schumer added that if GOP senators opposed the administration’s tactics they should urge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to allow a vote on the Democratic amendment.

“Let’s see if all our Republican colleagues who have said they don’t want to take away protections for pre-existing conditions, who said they don’t want to take away health care for millions … let’s see how our Republican colleagues vote on this,” he said.

Tags Chuck Schumer Donald Trump Mitch McConnell

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