At the House Rules Committee Monday, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-K., told his colleagues that it is impossible to "defund" the $105 billion in mandatory spending approved for the health care law that Reps. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. and Steve King, R-Iowa, are demanding.
Bachmann and King are trying to convince their colleagues to vote against the latest temporary spending bill on the principle alone that the GOP leadership won't try to strip this funding out of the bill. Yet they won't release the names of those who have signed onto their "dear colleague" letter that they are presenting to the House GOP leadership demanding the cuts.
Rogers says the problem is that the temporary spending bill is an appropriation bill, not an authorization bill. And you cannot take away "authorized" money on an appropriations bill.
"These are authorizations," Rogers said. "We can't do those on appropriations unless the authorizers pave the way for us."
Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee cautioned his colleagues against spending time on the $105 billion argument by Bachmann and King.
"The chances of this [health repeal] are De minimis at best," Dicks said.
He added that they are trying to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year. And he says trying to "defund" health care doesn't help their efforts.