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By Rebecca Shabad
WASHINGTON — The House on Wednesday approved a nonbinding resolution to condemn the Trump administration’s support for a lawsuit that would overturn Obamacare.
Lawmakers approved the symbolic measure sponsored by freshman Rep. Colin Allred, R-Texas, in a 240-186 vote. The GOP-controlled Senate is not expected to take it up.
The move comes in response to the administration’s announcement last week that it would back the full dismantling of the 2010 health care law. The Justice Department had said in a filing with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that a lower court judge’s ruling should be affirmed and the entire law invalidated.
On the House floor Tuesday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said that Republicans are trying to “strike down every last provision of the ACA,” including protections for pre-existing conditions, Medicaid expansion, Medicare solvency and bans on lifetime and annual limits.
Pelosi said the resolution gave Republicans a chance “to go on the record once more.”
“Either they’ll vote for protecting their constituents’ health care or they will vote for taking it away,” she said. “With this vote, we will see their values and their intentions.”
Before the House vote, President Donald Trump claimed on Twitter that he had never planned to deliver a health care plan in time for a measure to make it through Congress before the current session ends.
“I was never planning a vote prior to the 2020 Election on the wonderful HealthCare package that some very talented people are now developing for me & the Republican Party. It will be on full display during the Election as a much better & less expensive alternative to ObamaCare…”
Trump made similar comments at a dinner for the National Republican Congressional Committee in Washington on Tuesday night.
“Essentially what I’m saying is we’re going to come up with a health care plan. We’re not going to vote on it till after the election. We’ll all promise it’s going to be our first vote because we blew it the last time,” he said.
Trump said last Wednesday that Republicans will work on a health care plan that is “far better” than Obamacare if the Supreme Court overturns the law. But this Monday, he reversed course and tweeted that the GOP wouldn’t vote on a new health care plan until after the 2020 election.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters on Tuesday that he had spoken to Trump on Monday afternoon and said that a health care plan could not get through a divided Congress.
“I pointed out to him the Senate Republicans’ view on dealing with comprehensive health care reform with a Democratic House of Representatives,” McConnell said.