House Republican leaders are forging ahead with plans to hold a vote Wednesday on a full repeal of President Obama's health care law, after launching debate on the repeal measure Tuesday nearly two weeks after the Supreme Court upheld most of the law as constitutional.
Wednesday will mark the chamber's second vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act in full, though this attempt is being given no greater chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate. Obama has vowed to veto any such measure, were it to reach his desk.
House Republicans have held 29 other votes aiming to gut specific parts of the law since 2011.
The House Rules Committee on Monday allotted five hours of floor debate for the latest measure. Lawmakers plowed through four and a half hours on Tuesday, with the remaining time set aside for the day of the vote.
Democrats accused the Republicans of wasting time with a display of political theater instead of focusing attention on helping the economy.
“We could spend five hours talking about jobs. We could consider a jobs plan that the president offered before this very body. But we won't. Because we have to go repeal health care again for the thirty-first time,” Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., said on the House floor.
“You would have thought the 17th time would be good. The 29th time. The 31st time is like they are going for a record or something,” Ellison said.
Democrats also argued that the Supreme Court’s ruling to preserve the law indicated that Republicans should turn to other issues.
“It's time for Republicans to move on,” Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., said.
Meanwhile, Republicans held firm in their stance on the issue -- an issue that helped usher in their majority with sweeping victories during the 2010 midterm elections. They contended that the high court only declared the law constitutional, not good policy.
“House Republicans promised the American people that if granted the majority, we would repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as ObamaCare,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., said during floor debate. “Let’s face it, ObamaCare is nothing like what was promised.”
Republicans insisted they would maintain their efforts to repeal the law.
“I have voted to repeal this 30 times, and I will keep doing it until we get it right,” Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., said.