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House passes filibuster-proof bill to gut Planned Parenthood and Obamacare

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Washington, October 23, 2015 | Nicole Bender (202-225-3706) | comments
U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) voted today in support of a measure that would defund Planned Parenthood and other abortion-providing clinics and dismantle key provisions of Obamacare. The “Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act,” H.R. 3762, was passed using a special procedure known as “reconciliation” under which it cannot be filibustered in the Senate.

The bill, which passed the House by a vote of 240-189, would strip all federal funding, including Medicaid, from providers of elective abortions for one year while Congress completes its investigations into Planned Parenthood’s practices surrounding the selling of fetal tissue. This funding would be redirected to more than 9,000 women’s health care service providers that do not provide elective abortions.

“Life is precious, and the government should not force taxpayers to fund abortion providers,” said Thornberry. “The government should also not continue to force a bad healthcare plan on the American people, which is why this legislation repeals key provisions of Obamacare. This reconciliation bill is important because it will finally get a bill that protects life and fractures Obamacare to the President’s desk.”

H.R. 3762 would cut more than $130 billion by repealing key provisions of Obamacare. Specifically, the bill:
        • Repeals the Individual Mandate;
        • Repeals the Employer Mandate;
        • Repeals the 40 Percent Excise Tax on High Cost Health Plan, or the “Cadillac Tax;”
        • Repeals the Medical Device Tax;
        • Repeals the Prevention and Public Health Fund, or the “Obamacare Slush Fund;” and
        • Repeals the Auto-Enrollment Mandate.

Reconciliation is a special procedure that can be used once per congressional session. However, only certain types of provisions can be included. In the Senate, such a bill is filibuster-proof, requires only a simple majority (51 votes) to pass, and is limited to 20 hours of debate. Reconciliation is important because it is perhaps the only legislative means by which a Republican majority can send a bill to the President that repeals major provisions of Obamacare and defunds Planned Parenthood.

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