House Joins Senate In Taking First Step Toward Affordable Care Act Repeal

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About 36 hours after the U.S. Senate narrowly voted to approve a budget resolution that gets the ball rolling on repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the House of Representatives has also okayed the resolution by a vote that largely — but not unanimously — followed party lines.

By a vote of 227 to 198, the House approved a concurrent budget resolution that instructs committees in both the House and Senate to begin drafting legislation intended to dismantle the Obama administration’s signature health care reforms.

While no Democrats voted in favor of the resolution, nine Republican House members broke with their party. Among them was Rep. Charlie Dent (PA), one of a number of GOP lawmakers who felt that Congress might be jumping the gun on a repeal effort without any semblance of a replacement plan in place.

“I still have reservations, I’ll put it that way,” Dent, who had wanted the GOP to hold off on repeal efforts until after the party’s lawmakers held their post-inauguration get-together in Philadelphia later this month, told reporters about Friday’s vote.

The resolution gives the relevant committees until Jan. 27 to come up with their respective repeal proposals, with the goal of getting them to the House floor for voting in early February. However, these dates are not set in stone.

The repeal efforts are being bundled into the budget resolution because then they will only need a majority of votes in the Senate, as opposed to the 60 required to pass most legislation. Republicans currently hold 52 of the 100 seats in the Senate.

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