On Wednesday, the Senate on Wednesday voted 47-51 to reject an amendment that would have repealed the federal health reform law, the Washington Post reports (Fahrenthold/Aizenman, Washington Post, 2/2).
All 47 Republicans voted for the measure, but they were 13 votes shy of 60 needed for the proposal to move forward (Herszenhorn, New York Times, 2/2).
On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) attached the House-approved overhaul repeal bill (HR 2) as an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration funding bill.
Last month, the Republican-led House passed the bill in a 245-189 vote, which was widely considered to be symbolic since the measure had little chance of advancing in the Democratic-controlled Senate. President Obama promised to veto the bill if it reached his desk (California Healthline, 2/2).
Reform Repeal Efforts Will Prevail, GOP Pledges
Despite the repeal being rejected, Senate Republican leaders pledged to continue their efforts to repeal portions of the overhaul, complicate its implementation and block funding for specific provisions.
McConnell said, "This fight isn't over. We intend to continue the fight to repeal and replace ObamaCare with sensible reforms that would lower the cost of American health care, like medical malpractice, like selling insurance across state lines."
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) -- who has introduced a stand-alone bill (S 192) to repeal the health reform law -- noted that Republicans will "keep our focus on keeping [the law] 'de-funded,' making sure no funds go through." He added, "I think that is a more important strategy than trying to pick pieces of it that we are going to fix" (Ethridge, CQ HealthBeat, 2/2).
According to The Hill, Republicans will seek to block implementation funds for the law when the stop-gap spending measure to fund the government expires on March 4. However, McConnell declined to provide a timeline for other health reform-related votes (Bolton, The Hill, 2/3).
1099 Tax-Reporting Provision
Also on Wednesday, the Senate overwhelmingly approved an amendment to repeal the 1099 tax-reporting provision in the health reform law, Politico reports (Haberkorn, Politico, 2/2).
The amendment -- sponsored by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) -- was attached to a Federal Aviation Administration bill (S 223) and passed in an 81-17 vote (Spangler, Detroit Free Press, 2/2).
The reporting mandate -- scheduled to take effect in 2012 -- requires businesses, not-for-profit groups and government offices to file 1099 forms with the Internal Revenue Service when they purchase $600 or more in goods or services from another business in a given year (California Healthline, 12/13/10).
The current amendment would finance the repeal by requiring the Office of Management and Budget to rescind $44 billion in appropriated but unspent discretionary funds from various sources. The departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration would be exempt from those budgetary rescissions (Kim/Lesniewski, CQ Today, 2/2).