Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has promised to lead the charge in defunding the Affordable Care Act since President Obama signed the law in March 2010. But last night, his effort faced a setback after Republicans on the House Rules Committee refused to “grant a waiver for the consideration of an amendment to the 2011 funding bill that would bar mandatory spending” for the health law. House rules stipulate that “members cannot legislate on appropriations bills,” which King’s amendment would have done by eliminating $105 billion in mandatory spending from the health law.
But Republicans on the committee argued that the party would be better served by focusing on the $100 billion in cuts offered in the GOP’s continuing resolution proposal and suggested that King’s amendment would be dead on arrival in the Senate and would therefore jeopardize the party’s cherished spending cuts.
REP. PETE SESSIONS (R-TX): “This is a big week in Washington DC for the $100 billion and I just want you to know, I’m very focused on the amendments that you’re bringing, the ideas that you bring. I’m also very focused on getting the $100 billion done as best as we can, knowing that we have tried to sell this across the country. We would want to put pressure on the Senate and the President with actual spending this year.”
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King said he still plans to offer his amendment on the floor, although he concedes that it will probably fall to a point of order. Republicans are also planning to offer a separate amendment that would defund the discretionary spending for this year.