The GOP dominated House of Representatives is frustrated that the Senate can’t get their act together and repeal Obamacare but they’re not letting that frustration slow them down.
The House followed the Senate’s failure by passing funding for President Trump’s border wall.
House Republicans expressed their frustrations with the Senate’s failure to pass the motion to proceed on the upper chamber’s watered-down Obamacare repeal bill Friday, but asserted that the party’s work on reforming the health care system is far from over.
The collapse of the “skinny repeal” — a scaled-back repeal measure aimed at abolishing parts of the Affordable Care Act the majority of Republican lawmakers agreed upon while leaving a number of Obamacare regulations in place — came as a devastating blow to Senate GOP leadership, who were looking to use the legislation as a vehicle to conference with the House.
Following the House GOP’s conference meeting Friday morning, lawmakers called the Senate’s failure “extremely disappointing,” noting that they managed to pass their bill in May after overcoming an impasse between moderates and conservatives.
While the Senate’s fumble makes getting health care reform done this year more difficult, Republicans in the lower chamber haven’t given up hope on fulfilling their top campaign promise.
“We’re going to have to take a different route based upon what the Senate does, unless the Senate is able to wake up and realize what they did and come back to their senses,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters, adding he believes the Senate still has the ability to pass a bill.
Rep. Doug LaMalfa of California had similar sentiments, saying the Senate has the option to renew negotiations and move forward as they did in the House.
“I mean it’s not 100 percent shut off over there,” he told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “They could they could wake up — maybe they will up this morning or tomorrow and say, ‘You know, we made a mistake,’ so we can always hope for that and then it will go to conference as the speaker promised.”
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said he’s hopeful the Senate will bring the bill back up in the near future, noting that both Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rob Portman of Ohio and Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana have been working on amendments that could garner bipartisan support.
“I think we continue to work on two different plans with our Senate colleagues — hopefully just like we would have gone to conference the work wouldn’t have been done. I think we continue to do that over the next couple of weeks to come up with a plan that actually gets to 51,” he said.
But the House is pushing forward on the Border Wall – from the DCNF:
The House passed a spending measure Thursday that includes funding for a portion of President Donald Trump’s border wall with a vote largely along party lines.
The funding was included as a part of a “minibus,” which packaged together four appropriations bills aimed at funding the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Energy, water projects and the legislative branch. The lower chamber opted to group the “must-pass” appropriations measures together due to leadership’s lack of votes to pass an all-encompassing omnibus.
Building the structure has been a top priority for the president, who placed a strong emphasis on the proposal during the course of the campaign.
Democrats have met the border wall proposal with strong opposition, feeling that the project will be expensive and ineffective.
The Homeland Security portion of the bill allocates $1.6 billion for a “physical barrier construction along the U.S. southern border.”
“Rather than 1.6 billion dollars for the wall, we can use it toward the Russian presence in the Arctic. In 2016, 81 percent of heroin came through the ports of entry. The border wall does not address this issue,” California Democratic Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard said Wednesday on the House floor. “We would be sending a terrible message. We in Congress have an obligation to work in American’s best interest. If we fund just 74 miles of a border wall, we do not meet that obligation. I urge a no vote.”
While some Republicans have expressed concerns about the structure, party members overwhelmingly applauded the wall as a step in the right direction in keeping the country safe.
“This legislation funds the most critical functions of government. It secures our borders by providing funding for a wall on our southern border,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement. “It gives our service members a raise and ensures they have the tools they need to complete their missions. Additionally, the legislation takes care of our veterans here at home who have kept us safe.”