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House Passes CR That Eliminates ACA Funding

September 20, 2013—The House of Representatives Sept. 20 passed, 230-189, a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government open in the new federal fiscal year that includes a provision to eliminate funding for the Affordable Care Act.

The CR (H.J.Res. 59) includes language to “defund” the ACA permanently.  The CR incorporates the Defund Obama Care Act of 2013 (H.R. 2682), introduced July 11 by Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.), the chair of the Republican Study Committee.  Conservatives Republicans had objected to a previous leadership proposal to attach the defunding proposal as a rider to the CR [see Washington Highlights, Sept. 13]. 

The CR would fund the government through Dec. 15, at an annualized rate of $986.3 billion, slightly below the current, post-sequestration level of $988 billion.

H.J.Res 59 also includes language to allow the U.S. Treasury, once the statutory debt limit is reached, to continue borrowing over the debt limit until Dec. 15, but only to pay the principal and interest on both government debt held by the public and on obligations to the Social Security trust fund.

The CR now goes to the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is expected to offer an amendment to strike the ACA language from the bill, allowing the Senate to pass a “clean’ CR, which would be sent back to the House. At that point, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) might have to seek help from Democrats to pass the CR.

The White House Sept. 19 issued a Statement of Administration Policy threatening to veto the CR “because it advances a narrow ideological agenda that threatens our economy and the interests of the middle class. The Resolution would defund the Affordable Care Act, denying millions of hard-working middle class families the security of affordable health coverage.” 

When the House reconvenes Sept. 25, it will begin consideration of a separate bill to extend the limit on the federal debt that also includes the ACA defunding language.


Dave Moore
Senior Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-828-0559


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