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House Democrats file court motion to defend Obamacare

In their first hours in control of the House of Representatives, Democrats filed a motion to intervene in an...

Posted: Jan 4, 2019 2:17 PM
Updated: Jan 4, 2019 2:17 PM

In their first hours in control of the House of Representatives, Democrats filed a motion to intervene in an ongoing lawsuit that threatens to bring down the Affordable Care Act.

The petition is signed by new House counsel Douglas Letter who wrote, "The House seeks to offer a defense addressing the same questions of law that the present parties are litigating."

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Notably, Donald Verrilli, who defended the law as former President Barack Obama's solicitor general and is now in private practice, is also on the brief representing the House.

A federal judge in Texas last month ruled that the ACA is unconstitutional because Congress eliminated the individual mandate penalty by reducing it to $0, starting this year. This rendered the mandate itself unconstitutional and the rest of the law therefore cannot stand.

The Trump administration is not defending Obamacare, so a coalition of Democratic states is appealing the judge's ruling.

The filing was expected as party's leaders have repeatedly said they would swiftly work to uphold the health care law.

As part of its rules package for the 116th Congress, the Democrats granted themselves authorization to intervene in the lawsuit that threatens to bring down the landmark health care law. It directed the House's Office of General Counsel to represent lawmakers in any litigation involving the act and authorizes hiring of outside counsel.

The House late Thursday voted in the rules package, which the majority party -- now the Democrats -- adopts at the start of a new Congress.

The newly empowered Democratic leadership also scheduled a vote for next Wednesday on a standalone resolution affirming the House's authorization to intervene in the lawsuit. This would put Republicans on the record voting specifically for or against defending Obamacare and its protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

Supporting the Affordable Care Act, including its popular provisions that protect those with less-than-perfect health histories, helped Democrats retake the House in the midterm elections in November. Since then, the party's leaders have repeatedly said they will swiftly work to uphold the law.

The move to intervene, however, is largely symbolic. Some Affordable Care Act supporters say that Democratic lawmakers would be better off passing legislation to address the lawsuit.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 67649

Reported Deaths: 1912
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5656118
DeSoto368031
Harrison253036
Madison244368
Rankin229235
Jackson228843
Jones191659
Forrest182056
Washington168942
Lee147941
Lauderdale141192
Neshoba128692
Lamar122614
Oktibbeha112739
Bolivar111834
Warren109533
Lowndes108538
Panola106214
Sunflower105425
Scott100320
Lafayette98317
Copiah95728
Leflore94765
Pike93836
Holmes90049
Grenada84921
Yazoo83312
Lincoln83241
Pontotoc8308
Simpson80330
Monroe80155
Leake79025
Wayne77421
Coahoma77213
Tate73629
Marshall7019
Marion68420
Union64316
Adams62925
Winston62316
Covington62113
George5895
Pearl River55439
Newton54311
Tallahatchie53011
Attala52325
Walthall50120
Chickasaw47019
Noxubee45912
Alcorn4345
Tishomingo4216
Calhoun4209
Prentiss41710
Claiborne40913
Smith40613
Clay39714
Hancock39514
Jasper3889
Itawamba37510
Tippah36713
Tunica3517
Clarke32626
Montgomery3265
Lawrence3228
Yalobusha31510
Humphreys29411
Quitman2701
Carroll26111
Greene25512
Perry2437
Amite2356
Webster23512
Kemper23414
Jefferson Davis2336
Wilkinson21113
Stone2055
Sharkey1995
Jefferson1957
Benton1431
Choctaw1354
Franklin1312
Issaquena262
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 99926

Reported Deaths: 1781
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13258244
Mobile10517207
Montgomery6835149
Madison544734
Tuscaloosa423076
Baldwin365125
Unassigned363064
Shelby330936
Marshall318937
Lee270047
Morgan241118
Etowah216232
DeKalb183013
Calhoun180717
Elmore173138
Walker153964
Houston141912
Russell13872
St. Clair135418
Limestone134913
Dallas133123
Franklin128820
Cullman122712
Colbert120716
Lauderdale118919
Autauga117421
Escambia108717
Talladega104814
Jackson10144
Tallapoosa86579
Chambers84438
Dale83525
Clarke82610
Blount8124
Chilton8097
Butler76736
Coffee7646
Covington73720
Pike7087
Marion58026
Barbour5765
Lowndes57324
Marengo56515
Hale47826
Bullock46611
Winston45711
Perry4454
Washington44312
Bibb4425
Wilcox43210
Monroe4215
Pickens4049
Randolph40310
Conecuh39310
Sumter36418
Lawrence3512
Macon33914
Crenshaw3265
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Geneva2631
Greene25211
Lamar2292
Fayette2125
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Coosa1033
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