House approves continuing resolution defunding Obamacare

By Derrick Cain

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 20, 2013 - The House approved today, with a 230-189 vote, a continuing resolution (H.J.Res.59) that would avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month and keep government departments and agencies, including USDA and FDA, funded at FY 2013 levels until mid-December.

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The bill includes language that would essentially defund Obamacare, which is a complete non-starter in the Senate. Congress is facing an Oct. 1 deadline before a potential shutdown.

Voting in favor of the legislation were 228 Republicans and two Democrats, while opposing were 188 Democrats and one Republican. Ten Democrats and three Republicans did not vote.

The Senate is expected to take up the House bill next week, strip out the language and insert “clean” legislation, free of the defunding of the health care law.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has said he may filibuster the forthcoming Senate bill if it does not defund Obamacare.

“The House was just step one,” Cruz said. “Step two is the Senate, where all accounts suggest [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid plans to use procedural gimmicks to try to add funding back in for Obamacare.”

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., applauded the passage of the bill he said would keep the government open and “put a stop to the train wreck that is Obamacare.”

“Obamacare is unworkable and today's vote is another example of Republicans and Democrats coming together to protect the American people from this damaging law,” McCarthy said.

The House bill further locks in sequestration cuts for domestic programs.

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