House votes for delays on Obamacare; some Democrats give support to GOP move

by Tom Howell Jr.-The Washington Times  |  published on July 18, 2013

The House voted Wednesday to delay mandates in the federal health care law requiring individuals and large employers to have coverage, with dozens of Democrats joining Republicans in poking a symbolic hole in the president’s signature achievement.

Both votes left Democratic leaders struggling to grapple with the health care law, which they powered through in 2010 but now are struggling to keep on track amid complaints from businesses that they are having a tough time understanding it, and fears that individuals won’t sign up.

Boxed in by what they said were Republican tricks, 35 Democrats joined with Republicans to give large businesses a one-year reprieve on following the law, helping pass that provision on a 264-161 vote. Moments later, the House voted 251-174 to give individuals the same one-year break. In that vote, 22 Democrats joined Republicans.

“This law is imploding, this law is unnecessary,” said Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican and former vice presidential candidate.

Senate Republicans said the bipartisan nature of the House votes should push Senate Democrats to bring up the bills for votes in their chamber, too.

But that is unlikely, and Mr. Obama has said he will veto both bills if they reach his desk.

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