GOP Seeks to Block Health Law Funds

February 9, 2011  |  

(Wall Street Journal) — House Republicans will use a stopgap spending bill coming to the floor next week as a vehicle to block money for the new health-care law, a top lawmaker said Tuesday.  The latest push to neutralize the legislation, confirmed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, (R., Va.), comes on the heels of an earlier effort to repeal the law. That passed the House but fell short in the Senate.  The spending bill, needed to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, is being drafted by the House Appropriations Committee, which is seeking deep spending cuts. The current stopgap bill expires March 4. While the initial version isn’t expected to include the health-law funding ban, Republicans plan to introduce it as an amendment to the bill, Mr. Cantor said. It is expected to block the use of money in the bill to carry out the law, for example by preventing the Department of Health and Human Services from hiring more workers to oversee the new benefits.  The House Republicans’ strategy means President Barack Obama’s health-care initiative will be a major hurdle to passing the government-wide spending bill. Democratic leaders in the Senate are unlikely to back any move to defund the new law.

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