House Democrats force GOP to vote on protecting Obamacare

The House voted Wednesday on a resolution affirming the chamber's authority to defend the Affordable Care Ac...

Posted: Jan 10, 2019 10:20 AM
Updated: Jan 10, 2019 10:20 AM

The House voted Wednesday on a resolution affirming the chamber's authority to defend the Affordable Care Act in federal court.

The move was designed by newly empowered Democrats to put Republicans on the record voting for or against protecting Obamacare and its safeguards for those with pre-existing conditions. The GOP has for years fought against the law, with House Republicans voting in 2017 for repeal.

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Wednesday's vote was 235 to 192, with three Republicans supporting the measure.

Lawmakers last week approved a rules package for 116th Congress that gave the House the ability to intervene in a lawsuit that threatens to bring down the landmark health care law. The new rule directs the House's Office of General Counsel to represent lawmakers in any litigation involving the act and authorizes hiring of outside counsel.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a New Yorker and chair of the Democratic caucus, said earlier Wednesday that the standalone resolution is an opportunity to demonstrate support for the law.

"This issue is so significant that we believe outside of the context of the rules package, we want to give our colleagues -- Democrats and Republicans -- the opportunity to go on record and declare do you stand with the American people as it relates to the Affordable Care Act and protecting people with pre-existing conditions?" Jeffries said prior to the vote.

A federal judge in Texas last month ruled that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional because Congress eliminated the individual mandate penalty by reducing it to $0, starting this year.

District Judge Reed O'Connor found that renders the mandate itself unconstitutional and the rest of the law therefore cannot stand. But he issued an order in late December saying that the act can remain in effect pending appeal.

The Trump administration is not defending Obamacare from the lawsuit, which was filed by a coalition of Republican-led states.

This prompted a group of Democratic states to step in. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is leading that group, filed to appeal O'Connor's ruling last week.

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. The case is now working its way through the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The bill was also designed to give Democrats a chance to be on the record supporting it.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 1944
CountyConfirmedDeaths
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DeSoto371031
Harrison260136
Madison245569
Jackson231444
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Jones193159
Forrest182656
Washington170142
Lee152142
Lauderdale141592
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Lamar123115
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Oktibbeha113339
Warren112535
Lowndes109239
Panola106816
Sunflower105625
Scott101120
Lafayette98719
Copiah96228
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Pike94037
Holmes91049
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Lincoln83442
Monroe82155
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Marshall7129
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Union66216
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Winston62916
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George5956
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Alcorn4355
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Prentiss42310
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Smith40613
Hancock40214
Clay40114
Jasper3949
Itawamba38710
Tippah37414
Tunica3587
Clarke33626
Montgomery3295
Lawrence3238
Yalobusha31610
Humphreys29712
Quitman2691
Carroll26111
Greene25612
Perry2428
Amite2376
Webster23712
Kemper23314
Jefferson Davis2336
Wilkinson21513
Stone2115
Sharkey2045
Jefferson1957
Benton1451
Choctaw1354
Franklin1312
Issaquena272
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 100801

Reported Deaths: 1814
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13366246
Mobile10581212
Montgomery6825151
Madison546934
Tuscaloosa426979
Unassigned392566
Baldwin367029
Shelby333437
Marshall319438
Lee270847
Morgan241819
Etowah218034
DeKalb183414
Calhoun181918
Elmore176039
Walker154465
Houston142813
Russell13892
St. Clair136320
Limestone135913
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Franklin129722
Cullman123012
Colbert121517
Lauderdale119020
Autauga116222
Escambia108817
Talladega105414
Jackson10264
Tallapoosa87579
Chambers84738
Dale84329
Clarke82610
Chilton8189
Blount8165
Butler77036
Coffee7656
Covington74021
Pike7137
Marion58226
Barbour5796
Lowndes57124
Marengo56616
Hale48526
Bullock48111
Winston45711
Perry4454
Bibb4445
Washington44412
Wilcox43410
Monroe4236
Pickens4089
Randolph40211
Conecuh39310
Sumter36618
Lawrence3542
Macon33914
Crenshaw3326
Choctaw28912
Cherokee2768
Clay2675
Geneva2652
Henry2643
Greene25211
Lamar2302
Fayette2235
Cleburne1291
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