The Republican-controlled House approved legislation Friday that would undo parts of ObamaCare and block federal funding to Planned Parenthood – though it faces turbulence in the Senate, and a certain veto from President Obama should it reach his desk.
The bill passed 240-189.
Though Republicans have gone after the Affordable Care Act before, as well as Planned Parenthood, this bill is unique in that it uses a parliamentary tactic to make it easier to pass the Senate. Republicans wrapped the bill in a procedure that would shield it from a Senate filibuster -- meaning it will need only 51 votes to pass that chamber, as opposed to 60.
But it’s no guarantee that the 54 Senate Republicans would back it, as it faces potential opposition from moderate Republicans concerned it goes too far and GOP senators running for president saying it doesn't go far enough. A pair of presidential contenders -- Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Marco Rubio, R-Fla. -- along with Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, sent a letter this week to House Republicans urging opposition to the bill, saying "This simply isn't good enough."
Still, House Republicans cast the bill as a way to would help them sharpen political differences with Democrats for next year's elections.
"This is our best opportunity to date to put the bill on the president's desk and show the American people where his priorities lie," said Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn.
The legislation would eliminate the health law's requirements that most people who don't have employer-provided health coverage buy individual policies, and that most companies provide medical insurance. It would also eliminate the statute's taxes on medical devices and high-priced insurance policies.
It also prevents Planned Parenthood from getting federal money for a year -- the GOP reaction to secretly recorded tapes that showed the group's officials describing how they sometimes provide researchers with tissue from aborted fetuses.
Democrats called the debate a political charade and a waste of time, saying the House has voted 61 times to repeal all or part of Obama's prized health overhaul since the GOP took control of the chamber in 2011.
"This is a hyper-partisan document that is just talking points for extremists," said Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif.
In a statement promising Obama's veto, the White House said the GOP measure "would take away critical benefits and health care coverage from hard-working middle-class families."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.