Politics

House Working While Senate is Idle

| by FRC

Does anyone even notice that the Senate is out of session? In the time it's taken Sen. Harry Reid's chamber (D-Nev.) to hand out office numbers, the House has already steamrolled through the biggest agenda item of the year. While new senators sit in the Capitol basement like a scene out of Office Space, waiting for committee assignments--or any assignments--the House GOP is so fully operational that it's already voided the most expensive bill in U.S. history.

Five working days is all it took for the new majority to capsize the President's wildly unpopular health care law. (A law that 65% of doctors think will "deteriorate" care, according to this week's Thompson-Reuters poll.) With the help of three Democrats, Reps. Dan Boren (Okla.), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), and Mike Ross (Ark.), the ObamaCare repeal cruised through the House (245-189) with more support than the bill ever had to create it. Of course, liberals are saying Wednesday's vote was "symbolic." But, as The Wall Street Journal makes clear, "that is not the same thing as meaningless. The stunning political reality is that a new entitlement that was supposed to be a landmark of liberal governance has been repudiated by a majority of one chamber of Congress only 10 months after it passed. This sort of thing never happens."

When the Senate finally convenes next week, there's no guarantee that Democrats can bottle up the repeal. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has already promised to introduce a bill similar to the one in the House. Although the GOP is in the minority, there are still ways to force a vote through the amendment process or on the Senate floor.

Meanwhile, the House has already moved on to Phase 2 of restoring constitutional governance. This morning, after a press conference with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) introduced two bills to stop the flow of federal dollars to the abortion industry through the health care bill or any other government program.

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It's obvious from Rahm Emanuel's comments earlier this week that the Obama administration never had any intention of blocking taxpayer-funded abortions. Under Rep. Pitts' "Protect Life Act," Congress would do what the President's executive order cannot: strip the millions of dollars in abortion funding from the health care bill. At the same time, Congressmen Smith and Lipinski are fighting for a government-wide Hyde Amendment, which would permanently zero out any dollars for abortion in federal programs, the city of D.C., and overseas. We tip our hats to these leaders for making life a top priority in the 112th Congress. The country is cheering you on!