Senate Health Care Law Repeal Amendment
Mar 22, 2013
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) debated an amendment to the 2014 fiscal year budget that would repeal the Affordable Care Act.
R. Cruz, R-Texas
11:29:26 AM (02:29:10)54 secondsMr. CRUZ. Mr. President, tomorrow is the 3-year anniversary of the passage of ObamaCare. ObamaCare is hurting. It is hurting seniors,
it is hurting Hispanics, it is hurting African Americans, it is hurting single moms, and it is hurting the economy. It should be repealed.
Yesterday over 70 Members of this body voted to remove one of the most pernicious taxes in ObamaCare, the tax on medical device providers. I happily voted for the amendment, but I would point out this is a wealthy industry which can afford to hire lobbyists.
We should be responsive not only to wealthy corporate lobbyists but to the people and small businesses that are being hurt by ObamaCare and to the workers who are being hurt by ObamaCare. We should be responsive to the American people. For that reason, this amendment would create a deficit-neutral reserve fund to defund ObamaCare and repeal ObamaCare.
Thomas Harkin, D-Iowa
11:30:27 AM (02:30:11)1 minuteMr. HARKIN. Mr. President, this will be the 36th time we have voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. I know the Senators on the other side want to revote to repeal it. That is fine. I wish to warn you, due to the way this amendment is drafted, it also repeals what we put in that bill on education; to wit, we put in money to increase Pell grants. We put in money to increase funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. We put in money also to help the community colleges, $2 billion.
We also included the more generous income-based repayment system to ensure people don't need to pay more than 10 percent of their discretionary income to pay back their student loans. All of that is wiped out in the Senator's amendment.
Again, maybe it is just a drafting error. But I think Senators should know you are not just voting to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. That is fine if you want to do that. I don't think Senators on the other side of the aisle who are here wish to vote to decrease Pell grants and to decrease funding for universities.
Mr. CRUZMr. CRUZ. I ask for the yeas and nays.
The PRESIDING OFFICERThe PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second? There appears to be a sufficient second.
The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
The clerk will call the roll.
The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
Mr. DURBINMr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from New Jersey (Mr. LAUTENBERG) is necessarily absent.
The PRESIDING OFFICERThe PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber desiring to vote?
The result was announced--yeas 45, nays 54, as follows:
[Rollcall Vote No. 51 Leg.]
The amendment (No. 202) was rejected.